Meet Our 2022 Boy & Girl of the Year

Meet Our 2022 Boy & Girl of the Year

Meet Our 2022 Boy & Girl of the Year



Man & Woman of the Year candidates raise money each year in honor of the Boy & Girl of the Year. They are patient heroes chosen for their inspiring stories and winning attitudes. Each becomes a spokesperson for the thousands of patients who have benefited from LLS resources. The families have pledged to help the candidates and campaign in a variety of ways, most importantly, speaking at and attending events and motivating the candidates. Here's a little more information about our 2022 Girl and Boy of the Year.


 Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
 Age: 8 years old

 GOYNaomi’s Story: On August 10, 2018, Naomi was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  Over the next two years, she faced the fight against childhood cancer with the help of the Inova Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Specialists of Virginia's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.   

The road ahead would be long and lonely at times as she battled bone aches, headaches, weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, changes in appetite, bruising, sleeplessness, and the list goes on and on — to put it in her own words, “it sucked.”  However, in true Naomi fashion, she tapped into her warrior spirit, to not only survive, but thrive despite her diagnosis.   

 Naomi rang the bell on October 26, 2020 and today, she is a healthy and sassy 8-year-old who just began the third grade and loves the color pink, enjoys art and crafts, and wants to be a teacher when she grows up.   

 She was first introduced to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society after attending “Light Up The Night” when she first began her cancer journey and so it is a complete honor and full circle moment to have her selected as the 2022 “Girl of the Year.” 


Diagnosis: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) 
Age: 13 years old

 BOY Collin's Story: 

On Memorial Day 2020, Collin woke up with a mild fever, swollen tonsils, canker sores, and a small, odd protrusion on his jawline, consequently needing two separate surgeries over a span of several weeks through July. On July 21, 2020, within 12 hours of arriving at the Inova Fairfax ER, Collin was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) FLT3-ITD, which is categorized as a "high-risk" leukemia. 

Collin immediately began chemotherapy and went through three rounds of chemotherapy from July through November 2020 (5-6 weeks of hospitalization per round) and then moved from Inova Fairfax to Johns Hopkins and underwent a bone marrow transplant on December 23, 2020, receiving his dad's blood cells. 

Although there were many ups and downs and the recovery was long, Collin remained incredibly strong, faithful, and resilient throughout the long hospital stays and multiple phases of debilitating side-effects and complications from countless drugs and procedures. Collin was absolutely thrilled to be back in school by August 2021 and was feeling stronger every day and thoroughly enjoying 7th grade when, on January 21, 2022 (a day after the virtual MWOY Winter Cocktail where Collin got to meet everyone), it was discovered during the first post-transplant anniversary annual checkup that Collin’s cancer cells had resurfaced and the leukemia was back. Collin has since been hospitalized at Inova Fairfax and is undergoing chemotherapy, to go into another bone marrow transplant once he reaches remission. It is truly devastating that Collin is needing to fight this long and agonizing treatment battle all over again, but Collin is soldiering on with extraordinary courage and conviction that God is on the move and making way so that Collin is cured and lives out his dreams and God-given purpose in this world. 

While Collin's family was unaware of LLS and did not work directly with LLS in 2020, they now believe that many patients, especially young patients just like Collin, are given a second chance at life thanks to those who sign up to be on the forefront of the fight to cure cancer. We absolutely need and commend the amazing, selfless men and women champions like the Man and Woman of the Year candidates, the unceasing commitment and hard work by the LLS staff and the incredibly generous, compassionate, selfless, and dedicated donors out there who are directly contributing to expediting cancer treatment options for everyone battling cancer. To everyone joining this fight to cure cancer, Collin would like to say: "Thank you for caring and being so kind!"