LLS Man & Woman of the Year

Campaign to support cancer research raises $1.1M

The 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Greater Phoenix Man & Woman of the Year Campaign raised almost $1.1 million for live-saving research and patient support. A record 21 candidates from across the Valley participated in the 10-week campaign to raise awareness and funds to support the mission of LLS. Forest Melton and Genevra Richardson were crowned Phoenix Man and Woman of the Year at the Grand Finale Gala at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn on June 1.

Melton, a Phoenix native and UA alum, raised $72,185 during his campaign. He is a research specialist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center/Dignity Health.

Richardson set a new fundraising record for the Arizona chapter, generating $246,761 during her 10-week campaign. She was the co-chair of the first Phoenix Man and Woman of the Year Campaign in 2013 and currently serves on the LLS Arizona Chapter Board of Trustees. She now owns the public affairs firm GovGroup, and is a recent breast cancer survivor. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and two children.

Kathy Pidgeon and Antonio Moor were crowned the 2019 runners-up.

The fundraising teams competed in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors. The 2019 Boy of the Year was fourth-grader Julien Herrera of Goodyear, and the 2019 Girl of the Year was seventh-grader Bella Hicks of Cave Creek.

The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a national philanthropic competition to support blood cancer research. In the last 19 years, 40 percent of all cancer treatments were first approved for blood cancer, and in the past 52o years, LLS funded 34 of the 39 new FDA-approved blood cancer therapies.


$1,097,820: the 2019 MWOY total amount raised

Samantha Sanz, 2019 Woman of the Year candidate

Russell Thompson, 2019 Man of the Year candidate

Kathy Pidgeon, 2019 Woman of the Year runner-up

Wes Gullett, 2019 MWOY Campaign co-chair, leading a toast with the candidates

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