Jalesa Reed, a 2013 Lyon College graduate was voted the 2019 “Woman of the Year” for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Arkansas.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the largest nonprofit health organization devoted to fighting blood cancer.
Reed’s first financial goal was met almost immediately, so she quickly moved the marker up to $15,000 ultimately to $25,000.
Through grassroots efforts and local fundraisers in and around the Batesville area, Reed has exceeded her new goal well before the 10-week fundraising period is scheduled to end.
When first invited to compete for the “Woman of the Year” designation, Reed wasn’t sure she was up to the task. Still, she and her husband knew the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society was a powerful ally to many families such as hers.
For starters, her son, Michael was diagnosed at three with leukemia, his body at age five has finally adjusted to effects of his treatment, though he goes through rough spells, according to Reed, and will continue his daily regimen of pills until at least February 2021.
“But overall, he still goes to school, he gets to do fun things. I don’t think he realizes how sick he got. He’s a real champ,” she said.
Ultimately, she heeded the phrase that “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.”
“My campaign has been built off a bunch of little things adding up; it has literally been $100 here, $1,000 there, all adding up to a grand total that is unbelievable,” she said. “It’s impressive to see what this town does when called upon” Reed said.
The Lymphoma and Leukemia Society announced its winner from among eight candidates for “Woman of the Year” during its annual gala on Friday, May 3, at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Little Rock.