Deborah Sturges was named The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2022 National Visionary of the Year.
Richard Schwartz was named The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2022 National Visionary of the Year Runner-up.
Liz Sczudlo was named The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2022 National Visionary of the Year All Star.
(Rye Brook, NY- August 2, 2022) - The global leader in the fight against blood cancer, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), continues to reach new heights in enhancing its fundraising campaigns. Today, LLS announced the evolution of its signature campaigns, Man & Woman of the Year and Students of Year. Focused on innovating participant experiences and embracing the unified resolve to create a better world – one without blood cancers – Man & Woman of the Year and Students of Year are transitioning nationwide in 152 markets to LLS Visionaries of the Year and LLS Student Visionaries of the Year.
Over the past three decades, the campaigns have proven to be about much more than individuals and teams winning a competition — it is about incredible leaders from diverse experiences and backgrounds stepping up and leading others to raise critical funds to end blood cancer.
“The evolution of LLS’s Visionaries and Student Visionaries of the Year invites different views and perspectives, all working together extraordinarily, to be leaders in the cancer space today, tomorrow and into the future,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO. “This is so much more than a name change. Together, we are expanding and transforming the landscape of blood cancer care and support so blood cancer patients not only survive but thrive.”
“More than 70 years ago, a family lost their son to leukemia and turned that grief into a vision that blood cancers could one day be curable, said Coker Powell, LLS Chief Development Officer. “As we look to the future, LLS will continue to tap into our long history of innovation and creative thinking to create enhanced experiences that support, inspire and recognize the campaign’s candidates in the most meaningful way possible.”
Ten markets executed LLS Visionaries of the Year in 2022. These incredible candidates proved their vision of a world without blood cancer could one day become a reality — the results of the first-ever LLS Visionaries of the Year were astounding.
Deborah Sturges, Owner, President and CEO of Hallmark Home Mortgage of Fort Wayne, IN, was named 2022 National Visionary of the Year, raising an incredible $302,528.
Sturges has been asked many times before to run in the iconic campaign. She accepted her nomination in 2022 because she was enthralled by the evolution of Visionaries of the Year. "Being the National Visionary of the Year displays the generosity and care of our community,” said Sturges. “Northeast Indiana stepped up to this cause and has proven its commitment and desire to cement a legacy in fighting leukemia and lymphoma."
Sturges dedicated her efforts to LLS in honor of two dear friends, Jaxson and Chrissy, both cancer survivors.
Visionary of the Year Runner-up, Richard Schwartz, an Executive Vice President at Red Hour Films in Los Angeles, CA, raised $196,505.
Schwartz's father was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2020, and in 2021 his doctor administered a new immunotherapy treatment, which led to his remission. When he learned LLS was an investor in the research of the therapy his father received, that is what ultimately led him to run for Visionary of the Year.
Visionary of the Year All Star, Liz Sczudlo, a writer and producer in Los Angeles, CA raised $195,365. She ran in honor of her sister, Lauren, who was diagnosed with refractory Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011 when the typical survival rate was below 30%. Still, after months of harsh treatment, she received a stem cell transplant and has been cancer-free ever since.
Blood cancer patients and their families should contact the LLS Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., ET.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is a global leader in the fight against blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has regions throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.