Beth Gears was unable to rally coworkers to help form a Team ProMedica for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s annual Light the Night Walk fundraiser in 2012. But the ProMedica St. Luke’s Hospital employee had better luck this year – much better luck.
Assembling 25 – 30 members and raising $500 for Team ProMedica’s first Light the Night Walk would have satisfied Gears. Yet the numbers kept increasing until the team had 186 members and raised $9,171 through bake sales and other efforts, or more than $10,000 with ProMedica’s donation.
“They came out of the woodwork – it’s amazing,” recalled Gears, who works in patient registration at ProMedica St. Luke’s Hospital. “I was very, very shocked as I saw the numbers adding up.”
Those numbers earned Team ProMedica first place among all corporate teams in the October 2013 walk, which raised more than $129,000 overall. Team ProMedica also became part of the Strive for Five Club by raising more than $5,000.
A half dozen years ago, Gears had never heard of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. But after her best friend was diagnosed with leukemia, Gears and her family got involved with fundraising for the society’s work with blood cancer research, education and patient services.
Gears has headed up Team “Luke,” which is short for leukemia, for three years in the annual walk and raised more than $8,000. After her second year with Team “Luke,” Gears started serving on the executive committee for the society’s Northern Ohio Chapter.
Although her best friend has since passed away, Gears is grateful the society’s research on leukemia patients helped him live with the cancer and side effects from treatment for 3½ years. For every $1 the society raises, 78 cents goes toward patient care, she noted.
“We benefitted,” Gears said. “I feel like I’m giving back because I got my best friend longer.”
Light the Night Walk
Gears decided to once again step up her efforts on behalf of the society by forming a corporate team. Following such positive response from people throughout ProMedica with her second attempt, Gears plans to form another Team ProMedica for the Light the Night Walk in 2014. She also will continue to head up Team “Luke” for family and friends.
Besides working to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society provides patients and families with support groups, money for transportation and assistance with insurance co-payments.
For more information about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please visit www.lls.org/.