SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Earthquakes defender Todd Dunivant's brother Luke was named the 2004 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) annual Man of the Year for the Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay chapter on Thursday night at a benefit dinner in Santa Clara. Todd, a former Stanford All-American, spent the past eight weeks fundraising for the LLS in honor of his brother Luke, an acute Leukemia survivor. Todd raised the most funds out of five candidates, earning the title of Man of the Year for his older brother Luke.
"I am thrilled to have my brother take on the title of Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society," Dunivant said. "I hope that these funds help families in need because, as my family has learned, the disease can happen to anyone at anytime, so I feel lucky to be able to do my part to help find a cure. I would like to thank everyone who supported this campaign, especially the Earthquakes and the other teams in MLS, for assisting my campaign."
Todd has been actively involved with LLS since 2001, when Luke was diagnosed with acute Leukemia and required an immediate bone marrow transplant, which he twice received from Todd, who was a perfect bone marrow match. Luke received stem cells from Todd in two separate six-hour procedures.
"The Earthquakes organization would like to congratulate Todd for his fund-raising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society," said Earthquakes President and General Manager Alexi Lalas. "Todd is a perfect example of the type of player we have here on the Earthquakes. He is champion on the field and off the field in the local community."
As the new LLS Man of the Year, Luke Dunivant will appear in the local press and on billboards throughout the Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay area to help raise awareness about local blood cancer survivors.
The Earthquakes helped to support LLS and Dunivant's campaign by hosting a silent auction on June 12 during the Quakes-MetroStars game at Spartan Stadium. Many Major League Soccer items were auctioned off, including Earthquakes paraphernalia and numerous jerseys signed by MLS stars such as Freddy Adu, Joe Cannon, DaMarcus Beasley, and the entire MetroStars team.
As an organization, the Quakes have continued to be involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society over the years. The Quakes have participated for the past three years in the LLS' Light the Night Walk and are scheduled to take part in the annual event on October 2 of this year. The club has also supported the Pennies for Patients programs at Sunnyvale Middle School and Haman Elementary School in Santa Clara and helped raise over $10,000 for LLS.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The Society's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, the Society has provided more than $358 million for research specifically targeting blood cancers. For more information on LLS in the Bay Area, visit their website at http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_chap.