A Santa Clarita cancer survivor’s drive to test himself lead him to becoming LLS’ Gold Coast Man of the Year, while raising money to fuel cancer research.
Multiple Myeloma survivor, Jamie Alamillo changed gears and created a team for LLS’ Gold Coast Man and Woman of the Year campaign. A virtual, blind fundraising competition that takes place over 10 weeks for residents of Ventura, Santa Clarita and the San Fernando Valley. To simplify, every dollar raised counts as one vote for the candidate. The candidate whose team tallies the most votes wins.
The 12 candidates and their team members, gathered around their computers for the Gold Coast Man and Woman of the Year virtual grand finale on Zoom, May 23. The event was co-hosted by Los Angeles LLS board members, Liz Sczudlo and Jeff Miller. Collectively the candidates and their teams raised more than an astonishing $457,134 for LLS’ mission to cure blood cancers. Alamillo’s Team Together raised over $204,396 as a team, bestowing their team captain and leader as the prestigious title of the LLS Man of the Year in Gold Coast.
“It’s not about the money; It’s what the money can buy,” says Sarah Clark, the campaign development director for LLS. “The money can buy lives. It can buy hope. It can buy cures.”
With every $50,000 raised, a specific research portfolio can be contributed to, so that the money can go towards research for a specific cancer. Alamillo’s Man and Woman of the Year crew, called Team Together, dedicated their portfolio to lifesaving research funds, in honor of Alamillo.
“When a person has cancer in your family, your whole family has cancer. I don’t care what anybody says, everybody’s affected, not just the cancer patient,” Alamillo says. “I don’t advertise myself as this inspirational human being, I just do it because, at this point, because I need to prove to myself that I can do it.”
In the effort to keep testing his body physically and the endurance of his fundraising talents for the Gold Coast Man and Woman of the Year campaign, Alamillo streamed from Facebook Live each leg of the 200-miles in 36 hours to raise awareness and a goal of $36,000 towards his fundraising campaign.
After completing a 20-mile loop from Copper Hill through the San Francisquito Canyon, he rested 4 hours for the next leg to start. This was an around the clock effort, bringing together his team and other supporters to ride beside Alamillo, cheer him on virtually and drop off baked goods to keep him going for his next 20 miles.
“Not only does he do this for other people, but he still does miraculous things with his body, the body that couldn’t walk, or shouldn’t have ever walked again,” says Clark
“He should not, from all accounts, be alive anymore, but he is able to ride his bike from Santa Clarita to Lake Tahoe. He does incredibly selfless things for other people. And he just cares about the other patients that we’re serving. And he uses them as his inspiration when he’s actually all of our inspirations,” says Clark.