Dr. Neal Shah has never been a part of a major fundraising campaign, never worked at a nonprofit and was hesitant to take on a major fundraising campaign for cancer research.
But, it didn't take long for Shah to realize raising money for cancer research was easy compared to the battles many people have endured fighting cancer.
"It is hard to not commit yourself to something like this when you see so many people who are afflicted with cancer," Shah said. The Metro Atlanta dentist said one of his patients approached him about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man of the Year challenge. It is an ambitious 10-week fundraiser where Shah will compete against 11 other men to raise the most money for cancer research.
Shah had to figure out how to carve time out of his already busy schedule at Feather Touch Dental Care to organize and attend fundraising events over the 10-week competition.
"I have reached out to everyone I know, and my patients, my friends, my family have all given," Shah said. "It has been a busy time. But, it has been so much fun."
One person motivating Shah's fundraising efforts is Lauraine Frank. Frank was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma nearly a decade ago. Since her diagnosis, Frank has beat her cancer four times.
"I hear four times is the charm, so I am done," Frank joked about her battle with the debilitating disease.
Frank has been in remission for a year and half but gets check-ups every six months. Frank said she found a lump in her neck, went to get it checked and was diagnosed.
"Hearing those words when you have cancer when you are 21 years old is the last thing you expect to hear," Frank said.
Shah heard Frank's story and decided he would do whatever he could to help raise money for cancer research. According to Shah, 78 cents of every dollar donated will go towards cancer research. And every day he gets tired or worn out from all the events, he thinks of what Frank went through to still be alive today.
"Just to see someone, as awesome as she is, and what she has been through four times makes you want to help," Shah said.
There are two more events leading up to the grand finale the Man of the Year Gala on June 14. The next event is Tuesday, May 27 at Cypress Street Pint and Plate.
For more information on how you can donate, click the link to Shah's web page.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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