In June of 2012, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. I spent 50 consecutive days in the UMMC Fairview Hospital and went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy. In September of 2012, I had a stem cell transplant and spent another 30 days in the hospital. Fortunately, my brother was a match and willing to be a donor for my transplant and I received 5.1 million of his healthy stem cells. I won the lottery! Currently I am in complete remission and have a renewed health. I am back coaching on a full time basis at the U of M and Gopher Baseball.

In the fall of 2012, I was honored by LLS - Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - as one of their Honorary Teammates for the 25th anniversary of their TNT program - Team In Training. This involved attending events, motivating their team members and rallying the troops to raise money for blood cancer research. In the past year, nearly 3,000 new diagnoses of blood cancer were reported in the Minnesota Chapter's tri-state area. LLS awarded $2.9 million dollars for five research grants at Mayo Clinic and the U of M.  

LLS has recently nominated me for their 2014 Man Of The Year. This involves a 10-week fund-raising campaign running from March 6 to May 16.

To be honest with you, I have little interest in the title Man of the Year - but I do have a passion to help LLS raise money for blood cancer research that will help save lives and help cancer patients like myself. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society exists to find cures for blood cancer patients. They are saving lives not someday, but today - I am living proof. The LLS has a dream of a world without blood cancers. I want to help them. I want to give back to all my caregivers and the medical team that took care of me. I want to give HOPE to other cancer patients.

I NEED YOU to help Team T.O. - Champions of Hope and LLS in our fight to "strikeout cancer!"  

Todd Oakes & Team T.O.

Champions of Hope