GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has officially kicked off its 2023 Visionaries of the Year competition.

The 10-week campaign invites the public to step up and raise money to end blood cancer. It kicked off last week with the introduction of the 12 candidates in this year’s competition.

The money raised by the candidates will be used for research, spreading awareness and national and local advocacy efforts.

“The people we are dedicating these fundraisers to and who are inspiring us to take part in these fundraisers, who are in the midst of battle or who are survivors, they don’t get to quit. So, when things come up and it gets hard, you just have to think about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for,” Julie Stafford, 2022 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year, said.

“When somebody is diagnosed, their head is just whirling. You know they’re in a devastated mode and we want to help create a road map for them to help navigate that path,” Kris Stevens-Berry, campaign development manager, said.

For more information, visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s website.