JCU student nominated for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Collegiate of the Year

Megan Grantham, Campus Editor

Clare Snape, a senior at John Carroll University studying Communication on the integrated marketing track, has been working hard on a campaign close to her heart. It’s with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or LLS, and it’s part of her nomination for 2019 Collegiate of the Year.

The Collegiate of the Year Program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society “is a national nonprofit that raises money to do research on blood cancers, so primarily lymphoma and leukemia,” Snape said.

The society has chapters throughout the country, including one in Northern Ohio, which covers Cleveland, Akron, Dayton and other cities.

Every year, each national chapter has a Man and Woman of the Year, involving a fundraising campaign that professionals in the community can participate in. According to the organization’s website, candidates for the award form fundraising teams and compete in the philanthropic competition in honor of two local children who have survived blood cancer. The title of Man or Woman of the Year goes to the person who raised the most funds through his or her 10-week campaign. There is a winner in each community and a nationally recognized Man or Woman of the Year for the most funds raised in the entire United States.

“Northern Ohio is the only chapter that currently does the Collegiate of the Year program,” said Snape. She is one of six college students in the running for the 2019 Collegiate of the Year.

“There are six collegiate teams, representing different Northern Ohio Area colleges. I’m representing John Carroll, there are two teams from Cleveland State, one from Mount Union, one from Baldwin Wallace and one from Ohio Wesleyan,” Snape said. “We’re all raising money in different ways to directly benefit the Northern Ohio chapter.”

While each candidate conducts his or her own individual campaign, all are trying to achieve the same goal, which is, according to the LLS website, “to use their leadership skills to raise funds to help blood cancer patients live longer and more fulfilling lives.”

Upon accepting the nomination, each candidate has seven weeks to raise the most “votes.” Each dollar donated counts as a vote. The candidate who receives the most votes will be honored with a scholarship as well as the title of the Northern Ohio chapter Collegiate of the Year.

This year’s candidates competed for the Boy and Girl of the Year, who are blood cancer survivors Jack and Maja, ages 8 and 5, who represent the many patients that have been helped by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “They’re both currently in remission from leukemia, and have been directly served the Northern Ohio Chapter of LLS through copay assistance, research, transportation reimbursements [and] things along those lines,” explained Snape.

The way Snape became involved with this organization is very close to her heart, she explained.

“I’m from Cleveland, so I’ve grown up here. I was sick as a kid, not with this but with something else, but I was very involved with the [Cleveland] Clinic, so we know a lot of people there, and a family friend nominated me.”

Her reasoning for participating goes beyond being nominated. “I chose to do this because my uncle, when he was 21, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. I was 21 when I accepted the nomination. He died at 23, right after graduating college. So this was a really good way for me to honor him.”

Snape further elaborated on how this campaign has helped her. “I get so worried about thinking ‘What am I going to do when I graduate? Where am I going to work?’ and all of that. [My uncle’s] first year of work, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and entered chemo. This was in the ‘80s, so the treatment wasn’t nearly what it is now, so he was essentially given a death sentence at 21.”

Snape’s participation in the campaign has garnered some exciting avenues in public attention, one of which was being mentioned in Forbes Magazine. “They did an article on the program and they listed all the candidates. So my name is in there, and John Carroll’s name as well,” Snape recounted.

Just because the campaign is wrapping up, Snape said that “doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of showing support. Keep spreading the word and raising awareness. Also, someone could do this next year. They’re always looking for people to run next year.”