Oakes, Perkins & Gophers Hope to Strikeout Cancer
March 6, 2014
University of Minnesota baseball pitching coach Todd Oakes has been nominated by the Minnesota chapter of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a candidate for their Man of the Year Fundraising campaign.
Oakes received a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia in June of 2012 and is in complete remission. After living with cancer, he intends to raise monetary donations and awareness towards LLS as he attempts to "Strikeout Cancer." Supporters have the opportunity to donate during a 10-week period, March 6-May 16, by visiting his page, or attending the Gopher baseball April 12 game against Nebraska.
Alums and current members of the Gopher baseball family will also join in his efforts. Former Gopher and current Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins will donate $100 for every strikeout he accomplishes in the month of April. The U of M baseball team will collect pledges and donate to Gopher strikeouts also in the month of April. After learning of his diagnosis, Oakes spent 50 consecutive days in the hospital and underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy. In September 2012, he received a bone marrow transplant from his brother Jerald. In the fall of 2012, Oakes was honored by the LLS as one of their honorary teammates for their 25th anniversary of Team in Training. Now cancer free, Oakes returned to coaching in the spring of 2013.
In its 23rd year, the Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a competition that engages influential compassionate people to help find cures for blood cancer patients. 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 for five research grants at Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.
Local chapter winners will be announced on May 16 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis and move into national nominees.