Vanessa Ragland, as many of you know, is the co-host of the Nerdist Podcast Network’s own Pop My Culture, as well as an actor and writer of note. She has also been nominated for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year honor, and that’s where you’ll come in and help her win that thing and kick cancer’s ass from here to… how does that saying go? I forget. But this is more important than folksy banter, so, first, some explanation.
This all came about because Vanessa, like many of us, has experienced how cancer touches the lives of not just the people who get the disease but everyone around them. Four years ago, Vanessa’s writing partner Katie Hooten got the news that both her husband Tim and her then-four-year-old daughter Eva had leukemia, albeit in different forms. Anyone who has had cancer affect his or her family knows how hard it hits you; Katie got it doubled. But there’s good news to report: Eva’s now cancer-free and Tim’s living with the disease thanks to a second-generation drug that was made possible by donations by people like you to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Yet. that’s just two people. Every four minutes, someone gets the news that he or she has a blood cancer, and every ten minutes, someone dies of a blood cancer. The LLS — we can abbreviate it from here on out — is behind a lot of the research that has developed medication and treatment that can save, and is saving, lives.
So, back to Vanessa. She’s going all-out to raise money for LLS, supported by her family and friends on the Team Big Accomplishment Squad!, and we’re hoping the Nerdist family can help make her Woman of the Year, which goes to the nominee who can raise the most cash for LLC in a ten-week period. She’ll be raising funds through April 25th, through simple donations via the Web, through special fundraising comedy events, through parties, through art auctions, and even through getting someone to make a big donation in exchange for Vanessa’s dad to cut off his ponytail (“Operation Moneytail”). Her goal is $60,000, but every dollar will help fight blood cancer. Every dollar donated is a “vote” for Vanessa, too.
So, you wanna help or what? Sure, you do. Click here to donate. There’s also information there if you’d prefer to send a paper check. And if you want to throw a few bucks toward her dad’s ponytail shearing, you can click here to help reach that $5,000 goal and “Let Larry Shear!”
There’s more. If you’re in L.A., keep March 20th open for a benefit show featuring, so far, Bob Odenkirk and Rob Delaney — tickets aren’t on sale yet, but we’ll let you know when they are. You can also go “Like” the official Vanessa Fights Cancer Facebook page, where you can keep abreast of her progress and get the latest updates. And you can also buy an “Occupy Life, Destroy Cancer” t-shirt, with ten bucks per shirt going to the cause.
Okay, you know what needs to be done. Donate and help Vanessa win this thing and fight cancer and I don’t know whether there’s a tiara involved in “Woman of the Year,” but there should be, and Vanessa should get to wear it. Actually, I kinda doubt there’s a tiara. But donate anyway.
Oh, watch this video about her dad’s ponytail: