By Emily Marquez-Dulin | Published: June 17, 2014
Fort Myers, FL – With more than one million Americans living with a blood cancer and every four minutes someone in the United States is being diagnosed with a blood cancer, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s priority is ensure that blood cancer patients live longer, better lives. To this end, LLS helps people touched by blood cancer in communities across the country. We have local LLS chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Each chapter offers programs and events to help the community cope with cancer.
The mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer, funding lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and providing free information and support services.
LLS was born out of a family's grief following the death of their teenage son. Robert Roesler de Villiers, son of a
well-to-do New York family, was only 16 when he quickly succumbed to leukemia (http://www.lls.org/
Driven by the de Villiers' nearly boundless belief that leukemia and other blood cancers were indeed curable, the Foundation grew steadily, opening its first chapters in the New York City area. The organization, after changing its name to The Leukemia Society of America, was later renamed the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to communicate a broader reach and scope.
The Southern Florida & Puerto Rico Chapter oversees local operations in Collier, Lee, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties as well as the island of Puerto Rico. The Chapter boasts a committed Board of Trustees who are entrusted with the main responsibilities of building awareness and raising funds for the cause. On the Executive Committee, Steve F Belcher, Principal and Financial Advisor, Belcher & Company, Fort Myers, FL serves the executive committee in his capacity as Chair of the Southwest Florida Advisory Council of LLS that was launched earlier this year.
"As the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding blood cancer cures and advocating for patients and families, LLS is in a unique position to make a positive impact in cancer research overall, specifically blood cancers," states Steven F. Belcher, Chairman of the Southwest Florida Advisory Council. "The Southern Florida & Puerto Rico Chapter of LLS and our many volunteers and patient advocates are on the front lines everyday in our fight to the finish line of blood cancer cures."
The goal and mission of the Advisory Council is to inform the public, educate business and community leaders, and create awareness in Southwest Florida about fundraising events, and educational & advocacy programs the organization offers in the community. As chair, Belcher’s role is to ensure volunteer engagement and manage fundraising efforts in Ft. Myers, North Ft. Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Cape Coral, San Carlos Park, Estero, Bonita Springs, Naples, East Naples, North Naples, Marco Island and Immokalee.
The Southwest Florida Advisory Council is comprised of long time business and Hispanic/Latino community leaders who are actively involved in the future of Southwest Florida and includes:
· Steven F. Belcher, Principal and Financial Advisor, Belcher & Company, Fort Myers, FL
· Jennifer Alvarez, Branch Manager, Amtrust Bank, a division of New York Community Bank,
Coconut Point Mall, Estero, FL
· Beth Oliver, Director of Marketing, Offshore Sailing School, Ltd., Inc., Fort Myers, FL
· Pete E Cento, Founder & President, The Cento Group & Atlantis Photography & Design, Naples, FL
· Dawn Parker, Vice-President, Marker 5 Financial Services, Fort Myers, FL
· Angie Marsh, Vice-President, Marker 5 Financial Services, Fort Myers, FL
· Barbara Daley, Community Activist, North Fort Myers, FL
· Elizabeth Morris, Community Activist, Fort Myers, FL
LLS understands that volunteers are the backbone of LLS and is in the process of building a strong network of support in the area. LLS will match volunteer assignments to each individual’s capabilities and interests while leveraging unique talents and strengths toward helping fulfill the organizational mission. The Southern Florida & Puerto Rico Chapter needs volunteers to help with fundraising events, family support groups, education programs, advocacy to local legislators, corporate sponsorships, and expos and health fairs. For more information and get involved, please visit www.lls.org/