Hawaii Kai Jaycees
In the 1990s, oncologist Dr. Brian J. Druker was researching a cure for chronic myeloid leukemia to target cancer cells in the blood. Many other researchers, however, didn’t think the drug would work, and he was having trouble getting funding. But the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society believed in the drug and helped fund the research. Today, that drug is called Gleevac and has turned CML into a manageable condition. This is just one example of the work that LLS does. Currently, the Hawaii Kai Jaycees, a community service organization, is working to raise money for Light The Night, an LLS walk event that benefits research, advocacy and outreach programs.
The group got involved with Light The Night because one of the members is a leukemia survivor who is now in remission. “As a chapter, we decided to put together a team and help raise money so that maybe someone else who is not quite as fortunate could get the extra help,” says Jaycees board member Jon Nakasone. The Jaycees will also be raising money for the walk with a silent auction Aug. 26 at Network 808 at Aloha Tower. In addition to fundraising, the group will also participate in the walk as a team and help organize activities at the event. “It’s also about spreading the word about this organization that is working toward a good cause,” says Jaycees president Linda Kyriannis.
LLS campaign manager Alicia Aragon Shoulta says the Jaycees have been instrumental in raising money at the event for the past three years. “They are such an amazing group of people ... and they have been the top fundraising team for years,” says Shoulta. She explains that money from the event will go toward various LLS programs, including financial aid for cancer patients. Funds will also benefit the First Connection program, which connects newly diagnosed patients with others who has had it. LLS also has specialists on call to answer patients’ questions and supports advocacy programs, including lobbying insurance programs to support new treatments.
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