Mike Robinson's job on a daily basis surrounds engagement of the local community. Now he's hoping the community will lend its support to a greater cause.
Robinson, the Executive Director of Community and Fan Development at the Reading Fightin Phils, is running in the Lehigh Valley Area "Man & Woman of the Year" campaign through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
With this significant fundraising effort, Robinson hopes these contributions through the Lehigh Valley Area Man and Woman of the Year contest will allow him to raise money toward the cure for leukemia and lymphoma.
The money raised will help fund therapies and treatments that are saving lives. Over the years, blood cancer advancements have greatly increased the survival rate for some blood cancers.
Many LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients, but are also now used to treat patients with rare forms of stomach and skin cancers and are in clinical trials for patients with lung, brain, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. LLS funded drugs such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies are now saving thousands of lives every day.
All donations not only support LLS research, but patient services, advocacy, public and professional education, and community services as well.
Robinson first became involved with the organization a year ago, when a local client who was battling leukemia held a fundraising event at a Reading Fightin Phils game.
He was approached to run himself this year.
"Pamela Formica from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Allentown asked me if I would like to run for this Man of the Year campaign," Robinson said. "And I was like, 'what?'
"But then I thought about it and what I've been through, to go down to Johns Hopkins Hospital and walk into a room with 75 people that are affected with leukemia, or other cancers, I thought it was the least I could do."
Robinson does not currently have leukemia, but has dealt with a precursor to the disease for nearly a decade.
"I've been to the University of Pennsylvania, I've been to Penn State St. Joe's Hospital, I've been to Penn State Hershey, and now I go to Johns Hopkins. They're keeping an eye on my diagnosis with the high white blood cell count and doctors are continuing to monitor my readings. I get checked every three months.
"The good thing is I don't have leukemia, but my doctor at Johns Hopkins said it could be two years, three years, or I may never get it. They just don't know why my white blood cell count is elevated."
Those looking to contribute to the fundraiser have several options.
"They can certainly donate directly to me, or make a donation online (at https://pages.mwoy.org/epa/lehigh19/mrobinson)," Robinson said.
Robinson and the Fightins will be holding several fundraising events in order to raise money and awareness through the Man of the Year campaign. On Saturday, May 11 they hosted a car wash with proceeds going to the campaign, and a portion of every ticket sold from the May 11 game will go back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Robinson will also hold a Dress Down Day at Conrad Weiser, where Robinson serves as the Assistant Varsity Football Coach. On June 1st the Fightins will host a bowling fundraiser at Berks Lanes with special player appearances and auction items.
The finale of the Lehigh Valley Area "Man and Woman of the Year" campaign will take place on June 6, a celebration of funds raised for the cause.
"I just wanted to contribute in some way," Robinson said.
"My ultimate goal would be to spread the word that there's a need to give, with any cancer, so they can continue to research and help those that are suffering from this blood cancer."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.