|"Man of the Year" Eric Allen with "Girl of the Year" Molly Farrell|
Ever since being diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) at 19 years old, Eric Allen has been determined to fight for his life—and the cause.
As a motivator, leader and 12-year-survivor, Allen is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Man of the Year.”
In 2011, Allen raised over $170,000 alone in hopes to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. Collectively, the candidates that participated in the competition, including “Woman of the Year” Becca Willcox, raised over a million dollars—a record-breaking amount for the chapter.
Allen first got involved with the LLS when his mother was on the board of the Leukemia Ball and selling tickets for the event. Flash forward years later, and the annual Greater Washington event has grown to host more than 2,000 guests.
“I always look forward to seeing local area businesses, friends of LLS, survivors, those who are dealing with it now, and those who continue to push for a cure,” Allen says.
On March 31st, Washingtonians will gather downtown to help raise funds and awareness at the annual Leukemia Ball, this year co-chaired by Robin Lineberger and James H. Davis, Ph.D. This year’s event is expected to raise over $3 million for the nonprofit.
Allen strongly recommends anyone to get involved philanthropically in the city. “The big misconception about volunteering is that you have to have gone through cancer to give back,” Allen says. “My advice is to pick a cause you’re passionate about and get involved. Whether or not you’ve been affected by the disease doesn’t matter.”