A local resident and economic development official who has been battling cancer is using his story to help motivate donors during a 10-week intensive campaign to raise money toward curing cancer.
Ryan Van Amburgh agreed to become a nominee in the Upstate NY/VT Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man/Woman of the Year fundraising campaign.
Proceeds raised during the campaign will directly fund cancer research.
For every dollar raised by the Van Amburgh family, Ryan receives a Man of the Year vote until the conclusion of the campaign on May 12. That’s the night of the society’s grand finale event held at 8 p.m. at the Franklin Plaza Ballroom in Troy, when winners will be announced.
One of the top philanthropic events of the year in the Capital Region, tickets and sponsorships for the finale, benefiting Van Amburgh ’s campaign, can be purchased online at www.ChangeTheStory.Today. Direct donations to his campaign can also be made at that site.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has led therapy development initiatives nationwide designed to accelerate better understanding of cancer cells, inhibitors to their growth and increasingly personalize cancer therapies to extend survival rates and quality of life. Its funded clinical trials have generated over 50 percent of the FDA-licensed therapies targeting all forms of cancer since 2000.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to write a different story about cancer,” said Van Amburgh. “A story about finding the cure for all types of cancer. A story where our kids see the good that can come from facing your fears and rising to the challenge to help others. We really appreciate any support fellow warriors can spare to join this movement.”
Van Amburgh, economic development specialist at Saratoga Economic Development Corp., was diagnosed in 2015 with a rare strain of mesothelioma. He went through a six-month treatment plan coordinated by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and his cancer has been contained.
As a husband to his college sweetheart and father of two young children, he and his family decided to use their story as motivation to accept the Man of the Year nomination and to mount the campaign.
“My world turned upside down in the summer of 2015, when my family was blindsided by my cancer diagnosis,” said Van Amburgh. “During treatments, I vividly remember feeling exhausted and watching my family in our living room as if I wasn’t there.”
He decided to fight the disease harder.
“The network of support and outpouring was uplifting. We want to be that resource for countless others facing the cancer battle,” he said.
To join the Van Amburgh’s fight to cure cancer, visit www.ChangeTheStory.Today or mail a tax-deductible donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter, One Marcus Blvd., Suite 104, Albany, NY 12205