MAN AND WOMAN OF THE YEAR IS CANADA'S ONLY PHILANTHROPIC COMPETITION FOR COMMUNITY LEADERS
Man & Woman of the Year is a philanthropic competition to support blood cancer research among a group of motivated and dedicated individuals in communities across the United States, and 2020 marked the second edition of the campaign in Canada. Candidates formed powerful fundraising teams and compete in honour of local blood cancer survivors.
The man and woman who have raised the most funds during the nine-week campaign were awarded the prestigious title of Man or Woman of the Year in their community.
The man and woman who have raised the most across the Canada will be recognized as the National Man & Woman of the year.
Would you, or someone you know, like to participate in the 2021 edition? Nominate a candidate today!
Meet the Toronto Candidates
The Girl Of The Year
The journey of Gracie Bell
It was three days before Gracie’s first birthday in 2014, we would receive the most devastating news that a family could ever receive that our sweet baby girl had blood Cancer. She was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia), and would have to undergo seven intense rounds of chemotherapy at the IWK, we were completely devastated and felt like we were in worst nightmare parents could ever imagine. Within the next few days we would pack suitcases arrange our lives the best we could and head off to Halifax for our sweet little daughter to undergo the biggest fight of her life, we were all terrified!
Gracie, would receive her first round of chemotherapy on her 1st Birthday not the 1st Birthday a parent plans for their child filled with Celebration and the Joy of Family and friends all around to enjoy the Joyous occasion. In the following weeks and months to come Gracie would endure countless blood transfusions, bandage changes for her Hickman line that was surgically inserted into her chest and into one of her main arteries of her heart where she would receive her chemotherapy treatments through. There are many challenges, lots of heart ache and tears shed over the duration of 8 months in the hospital that we would spend. We would never have known the love in the care of this amazing children’s hospital and all the doctors and nurses would provide for us throughout our time spent there. We would have the opportunity to share in the comfort of many other families faced with the same nightmare as us and lean on one another day after day as we all stood by and did what any parents do to just comfort and love our children the best way we could under these life changing circumstances. Gracie finally completed all of her treatments in the fall of that year and was declared in Remission!!!! Which I might add became one of my favourite words in the whole wide world. We will always be so grateful for all the love and the care that we received from our medical team, they are pretty remarkable and we will forever be grateful.
Gracie is now seven years old and Thriving in her life and continues to be in the greatest health. She is just over five years cancer free and that is the best feeling in the whole wide world. To watch her grow and watch her explore life with her spit fire personality and sweet and kind spirit she has overcome more than most kids and brings so much Joy to us and everyone’s lives that she enters. It was the toughest battle anybody could go through and really puts life into perspective, it makes you appreciate every small shared moment that you have together and truly the simplicity of watching your children grow up is such a blessing.
Our family is so grateful for the continued support that we receive through the blood cancer community as we continue to try to do our part to raise awareness and share Hope for all the kids that have gone through a journey like this and for many who will be faced along with their families to endure a battle like this.
As we continue to make huge strides forward in research, new equipment, and to provide support and help to patients and their families, this could only be made possible with the help and support of Amazing foundations like the LLS and all there Amazing staff and people like you. So from the bottom of our hearts and from the love of a sweet little HERO, we say Thank you for your support!!!
The Bell Family, xo