In the PR profession, we are lucky to be able to attend many community events that honor an array of people, organizations and accomplishments.
Every so often, one of those events will be extra meaningful to a staff member, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma (LLS) Man and Woman of the Year Grand Finale on May 2, was that event for me — mostly because I was chosen as a candidate for Woman of the Year.
For 10 weeks, the 11 other candidates and I — four men and eight women who are active in Austin’s professional community — ran a fundraising campaign in the fight against blood cancers. We were thrilled to be able to break the fundraising record in Austin by collectively raising $556,000 to go toward blood cancer research!
This cause is personal to me as my little sister, known as “Baby” Courtney was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011. Thanks to chemotherapy and radiation she received at Texas Children’s Hospital, she has been in remission for more than two years.
#TeamPette, which consisted of my family, friends and co-workers, helped me surpass my goal of $25,000 and make it to more than $30,000. The Man of the Year, Randy Curbiel, raised an impressive $100,000 — setting a new record for most money raised by a single male candidate, and the Woman of the Year, Dana Smith, raised $70,000.
I was truly honored to be a part of this group and consider myself incredibly lucky to have been included with these local community and professional leaders. More than anything, I was privileged to have the opportunity to give back to an organization that helped save my sister’s life. If she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2003, her chance of survival would have been less than 40 percent, but thanks to treatments yielded by LLS research, the survival rate is 90 percent.
Thank you to everyone who supported LLS and me throughout this journey. Check out some personal photos from the Grand Finale, as well as coverage in the Austin Business Journal and Austin American-Statesman.
Account Executive, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations