Each year, in communities across the country, dedicated candidates engage in an exciting competition to earn The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)’s “Man & Woman of the Year” titles. Raising funds for LLS blood cancer research the candidates compete in honor of children who are local blood cancer survivors, the Boy & Girl of the Year.
Known as one of Washington’s top fundraisers each spring, The Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) campaign is a spirited 10-week fundraising competition in which 20-30 men & women set out to raise as much money as they possibly can for LLS. This year marks the 30th anniversary MWOY campaign and 21 candidates have set a combined goal of raising $3 million for critical cancer research while also raising awareness for LLS’s mission: to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The 2021 Washington, DC MWOY campaign will run Thursday, April 1 – Saturday, June 12, 2021. LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to curing blood cancers and improving the quality of life of patients.
2 of those 21 candidates are taking on an even bigger challenge as they represent the Washington, DC MWOY campaign in the 2021 All Star competition. The MWOY All Star campaign launched in 2014 as a fundraising competition among a select group of alumni. One former Man and Woman of the Year candidate can be chosen to represent their local market as the All Star Alum for that year. The male and female All Star alumni who raise the most during the campaign will be named the National Man & Woman of the Year All Stars. We are excited to announce Matt Windsor, of McEnearney Associates, as our 2021 male all-star candidate and Roxana Muzzammel, of CACI, inc. & Grassroot-Fund as our 2021 female all-star candidate. Roxana is dedicating her all-star campaign to honor the memory of her father who lost his battle to Acute Myeloid Leukemia 10 years ago.
The Man & Woman of the Year winners will be announced at the Grand Finale Celebration on June, 12th, 2021.
The 2021 campaign co-chairs are Carl De Groote of Cisco Systems and Christine Thayer of Thayer Clinical Psychology Services.
This year’s fundraising is in honor of two special patient heroes, the 2021 Boy & Girl of the Year: five-year-old Karter & 9-year-old Ella, young blood cancer survivors.
Meet the 2020 Boy & Girl of the Year!
Meet the Boy of the Year, Karter
Shortly after Karter’s first birthday, after battling chronic ear infections and high fevers, Karter underwent an outpatient procedure for Ear Tubes. Just two days later, Karter spiked another high fever and began having some unusual bruising all over his body. Within an hour of being at the Emergency room, Karter was flown to Children’s National medical center in Washington DC to later be diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia- MLL rearrangement at just 16 months old.
Karter completed five rounds of intrathecal chemotherapy in late October 2017. During Karter’s first round of therapy, he was intubated and on a ventilator. 98% of Karter’s blood volume was consumed with cancer cells. He remained in the pediatric intensive care unit for a little over 3 weeks prior to being discharged to the oncology floor of Children’s.
Karter remains in remission and is officially 3 years out of active treatment. Cancer may have turned our life upside down, but it has taught us to cherish every day we are given.
Meet the Girl of the Year, Ella
Ella was 6 years old when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid leukemia (AML). On May 9, 2018, Ella went to the doctor for what her family thought were allergies and potentially mono and received her cancer diagnosis. She ended up staying for 135 nights while receiving 4 rounds of extremely harsh chemo. Ella got a double port placed in her chest immediately. She rang the bell signaling end of treatment on October 20, 2018, and truly believed she was done.
On August 30, 2019, 2 weeks shy of her end of treatment date, Ella relapsed. Turns out Ella was part of the 20-30% of kids with her mutation that needed a transplant. She did another round of chemo then received a bone marrow transplant.
Her big brother Noah was a perfect match for her and was her donor. On November 12, 2019, she received her brother’s life saving cells. Ella remains in remission and has received clean scans since the transplant. She just celebrated being 1 year cancer free!
- The 30th annual MWOY competition of the Washington, DC Metro area runs April 1st – June 12th, 2021. The top male and female fundraiser are named Man & Woman of the Year and continue on to compete for the national title.
- The 2021 campaign goal is to reach $3 million. The Washington, DC campaign of the Mid-Atlantic region consistently holds one of the top Man & Woman of the Year campaigns in the country, and since 2000, has placed 14 national winners.
- The announcement of the Man & Woman of the Year winners is a celebration of all the candidates’ efforts as a collective class on June 12, 2021 at the Grand Finale Gala.
How Candidates Fundraise:
- Final candidates are chosen from those nominated, and then form their own teams and use their contacts and creativity to raise funds.
- Every candidate and each of their team members will get their own personalized fundraising webpage to reach out to friends and contacts.
- Chapter staff will assist candidates in goal planning and serve as fundraising consultants.
Are you interested in getting involved? Please contact Megan Swahn at Megan.Swahn@lls.org or 703.399.2922 for more information.
Meet our 2021 Man & Woman of the Year Candidates!
All-Star Candidate Matt Windsor – McEnearney Associates
All-Star Candidate Roxana Muzzammel – CACI Inc./Grassroots Fund
Kristen Anderson – Washingtonian
Aaron Butler – ID Technologies
Jackson Clement – GetWellNetwork
Tricia Fitzmaurice – Red Hat
Heather Louise Finch – Aurotech Corp
Ashley Irwin – SolarWinds
Frank Lusko – Red River Technology
Fara Moskowitz – Orange Theory Fitness
John Meyer – Scoop News Group
Deborah Porras – Beverley Hills Community UMC
Clay River – CBRE
Adam Romero – Sehlke Consulting
Josh Tehan – DLT Solutions
Tatiana Tchamouroff – Ninotch
Bryan Thomas – World Wide Technology
Dave Thomas – F5 Networks
Theresa Urban – GDIT
Tania Vassileva – Microstrategy