Sorry Aloe Blacc, You Are Not The Man (or Woman)

Haley Schaafsma

At Marbaloo, we have many things in common. We love music, we love being creative, we love to eat, but unfortunately most of us also have one other thing in common; we are related to or know someone who has been affected by cancer. Faithe Dillman, our owner, and I have both had someone very close to us diagnosed with Leukemia & Lymphoma. Fortunately, the other thing we both have in common is those people are both survivors. It is because of organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the events they put on like The Man & Woman of the Year that help make finding a cure and helping patients possible. The society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

I was grateful to attend Nashville’s Man & Woman of the Year event this year to get a first hand look at what a true difference the organization is making in people’s lives. The Man & Woman of the Year event raises funds for LLS blood cancer research the candidates compete in honor of children who are local blood cancer survivors, the Boy & Girl of the Year. Every dollar raised counts as one vote and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of 10 weeks. Each year the winners are announced at the Grand Finale Event along with a live and silent auction where all proceeds go back to LLS. It was bittersweet to hear the stories from families who lost loved ones, yet at the same time were there to celebrate their lives.

Two years ago, Faithe had the opportunity to be on a team to help raise funds for her good friend Rebecca Sweet. Just as she puts her whole heart into Marbaloo every day, she put her whole heart into the LLS society and into Rebecca Sweet, who ended up winning Woman of the Year.