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Fundraising phenom reaches goal but falls short of top spot

In less than a week, the residents of Gresham and East Multnomah County helped Tam Driscoll reach her goal: to raise $50,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

But she fell short of being named the nation’s top fundraiser for this season’s Team In Training events.

Driscoll, a city of Gresham employee and fundraiser dynamo for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, had raised nearly $41,000 by Oct. 11 — enough to overtake a Texas fundraiser and rank her as the second highest fundraiser in America.

She set her sights on Palm Beach, Fla., where another person was in first place with $50,000 raised.

Between Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, the fundraising deadline, Driscoll brought her total to $50,377. But Ms. Florida continued to fundraise, bumping the bar for first place to $53,000.

Driscoll is thrilled that the community rallied to get her past the $50,000 mark.

“Last year’s number one was in the $40,000 range, so this was an exceptional year,” Driscoll said.

But more important, a research portfolio group has been named in memory of her sister Nancy, who died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancers while supporting patients and their families.

Counting money raised this year, Driscoll has raised a total of $327,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society since she began volunteering for the organization 12 years ago.

Driscoll, Gresham’s communications manager, began raising money for the society in 2001 when she signed up for her first marathon as part of Team in Training, a program in which participants train for triathlons, marathons and other endurance events while raising money to find a cure for blood cancers.

At the time, Driscoll had no direct connection to the organization’s mission.

Two years later, her sister was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2009, Nancy died at the age of 56.

Driscoll channeled her grief into her fundraising. In the fall of 2010, she raised $58,000, becoming the season’s top fundraiser for Team in Training.

This winter, Driscoll once again suffered a devastating loss from cancer. Her mother, Joyce, was diagnosed with cancer in February. Before she died just a month later, she told Driscoll to form a running team in Nancy’s memory.

Team Nancy is made up of 12 people, including Driscoll, who all trained for and took part in athletic events. Driscoll ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in hilly San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 20.

Collectively, the team has raised more than $90,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.




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