In just a couple of weeks, we will kick off what is undoubtedly our most exciting Man & Woman of the Year campaign yet. This year a North Bay version of the San Francisco classic will run for the very first time, engaging the North Bay community in a focused effort to raise funds to create a world without blood cancer.
For those of you new to this campaign, here’s how it works. On April 4 (in San Francisco) and April 18 (in the North Bay), our talented San Francisco and North Bay candidates will hit the ground running in a fundraising competition unlike any other. They will be reaching out to their professional and personal networks for support and hosting a variety of fundraising benefits and events that anyone can attend. Often these events are one-of-a-kind and in the past have included celebrity chef dinners, wine auctions and tastings, adventure races, and swanky cocktail parties.
Each dollar counts as a vote with all funds raised going to LLS. The winners will be announced at Grand Finale celebrations in June.
Candidates raise funds in honor of our Boy & Girl of the Year, Honorees of the Year and quite often, loved ones who have battled or survived blood cancer.
Our ramp up to the start of the 2013 campaign is a three-part series highlighting the faces of the campaign: the Honorees of the Year, our Boy & Girl of the Year and our 2013 candidates. We are so thankful to have these wonderful individuals to inspire us.
Natasha Fooman, 2013 San Francisco Honoree of the Year
When you meet Natasha, you may think to yourself, “wow, now there’s a dynamic individual who truly embraces life.”
Incredibly selfless and giving to her community, Natasha was approached to run for LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year in 2003 in Sacramento. At the time, she did not have a personal connection to LLS’s mission; she simply was an active presence in the community and wanted to give back.
She ran a very successful campaign, raising thousands for LLS.
Eight years later, Natasha received the news that would change her life. She was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma that was affecting her brain. Over the years, she would battle lymphoma three times and undergo chemotherapy, radiation and eventually a bone marrow transplant.
Today, she is cancer free and a proud mother to 5-year-old Jake and three year-old Juliet. Her family is her world and she is focused on living.
Amy Rondoni, 2013 North Bay Honoree of the Year
Incredibly Amy’s cancer journey started when she was nearly thirty-six weeks pregnant. She was having trouble breathing and her doctors suspected that she had a blood clot in her lungs. After being admitted to the ER, she learned that she had lymphoma and found herself undergoing an emergency c-section. Both Amy and her son, Nathan, spent time in intensive care.
After many tests and biopsies, Amy was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because the disease had metastasized to many areas of her upper chest cavity, Amy faced some daunting odds. BUT her strong will to live and “secret weapon” (the love fo her newborn son) powered her through many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.
Today, Amy is four years into remission and her son is a happy, healthy little boy. She credits her cancer journey with making her stronger mentally and physically and pursues many of the things she always wanted to do when she had time – running half marathons, competing in triathlons and racing her mountain bike.
Support the 2013 Man & Woman of the Year candidates with a donation or attend one of their many spectacular events. Visit www.mwoy.org/sf for more information.