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NKU’s Kaufman candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2019 Man of the Year

Northern Kentucky University’s Jim Kaufman has been named as one of the candidates for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 2019 Man of the Year.

Jim Kaufman and his son, Liam, pose with the LLS Man of the Year sign (provided photos).

Kaufman’s fundraising campaign is very personal, focusing on his 9-year-old son, Liam. In 2015, Liam was diagnosed with leukemia. Kaufman, director of Real Property Development at NKU, says it all started with bruises on his leg.

“All five year old boys have bruises, but these weren’t getting better. We took him into our pediatrician, and somehow they knew. We rushed Liam to Children’s Hospital and learned he had leukemia,” said Kaufman.

Not long after learning Liam’s diagnosis, the Kaufman family became involved with LLS. They raised funds for the Light the Night walk and met families going through the same experience. LLS quickly became more than an organization.

LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. Its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

LLS funds blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

“Living with leukemia is not easy even once treatment ends. There’s always the concern of relapse. We celebrated milestones and good reports and offered support when friends learned difficult news,” said Kaufman. “Each Man/Woman of the Year candidate has to share their ‘why,’ what got them involved with LLS.  Here’s mine—I never want another parent to hear their child has cancer or the worst, that there are no more treatment options.”

As one of the 12 LLS Man/Woman of the Year candidates, Kaufman has created teams that have 10 weeks to raise much as they can. Every dollar raised counts as one vote, and the candidate whose team tallies the most votes earns the prestigious title of “Man/Woman of the Year.” All the funds go toward LLS’s mission of finding cures for blood cancer.

Liam holds a picture from when he was in treatment.

“My NKU team is led by one of our student-athletes, Haley Libs, who is a child leukemia survivor. Her story is very uplifting because too often you only hear the heartbreaking stories. I’m proud to work beside her to raise funds to find a cure,” said Kaufman.

“For me, this campaign hits close to home,” said Haley. “The second I heard Jim’s mission and underlying motivation for taking on the campaign, I knew it was something I wanted to support.”

To get details on how to support Kaufman’s LLS Man of the Year campaign, click here. Visit the LLS website to learn more about blood cancers.

NKU is a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff in Highland Heights. For more information, click here.

Northern Kentucky University

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