While the work of Less Cancer has been highly rewarding, it has not been an easy road to travel. Why would it be? We are talking about cancer.
Despite the fact we are a small nonprofit organization, Less Cancer receives hundreds of emails a day. Sorting through the many emails last week, one that caught my attention. It was from a man who identified himself as Keith Yang from Los Angeles.
Keith's email read as follows:
"I manage a 12-year-old Little League baseball team in Los Angeles, CA. Our kids raised money and have selected LessCancer.org as the charity to which they wish to donate the funds raised. "
I immediately reached out and called Keith.
After thanking him, we chatted for while, and he mentioned the amount "$7,000.00."
My voice cracked, I repeated, "$7,000.00?"
Keith said, "Yes, that's correct. We are still collecting more."
Then asked, "What is the baseball team's name?"
Keith replied, "The Angels."
I said, "Of course they are the Angels. Who else would they be?"
The next day, I received an email from an Angel's mother, Yvette Bowser, detailing the fundraiser:
"I am writing to you on behalf of the Angels, a team of 12-year-old baseball players that are part of Encino Little League in Los Angeles, California. My son Drew is a player on the team.
"As part of a Mother's Day Home Run Derby recently hosted by the Encino Little League, teams raised money for various charities by soliciting donations for every home run hit by the participants at the derby. Drew and his teammate, Jake, hit 11 balls out of the park and raised approximately $700 per home run!
Our team selected LessCancer.org as the charity we wish to support because many of our families have been impacted by this disease. We greatly appreciate the work you are doing and firmly believe your approach to increasing awareness and promoting prevention is the key (to) reducing the number of cases diagnosed each year. I am sending checks totaling $7,575.00, which represents 100% of the donations collected by the Angels of Encino Little League."
With the news of the team's gift, Less Cancer has already started receiving more checks towards matching the Angels' generous donation.
When the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim win a game, fans say, "Light up the halo!" about the giant A with a halo that lights up every time the Los Angeles Angels win. Less Cancer does not have any grand billboards to recognize the little league team's big win. However, we will be honoring the Angels of the Encino Little League, during Less Cancer Bike Ride to Mackinac -- 300 miles in two days -- as cyclists will be proudly sporting their team and league's logo among the other sponsors for the ride.
The efforts of Less Cancer are all about the next generation. Our work is about the future. It gives me great hope to know that the future is in the hands of Angels.