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Meet Mandy O’Neill of Leukemia Texas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mandy O’Neill.

Mandy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From a very young age, my mother made sure my sister and I volunteered. At church, school, homeless shelters, etc – we gave back. I knew early on that I wanted to make a career out of it.

My dream of becoming a Kilgore College Rangerette came true in the mid 90’s. There I gained lifelong lessons in perseverance, leadership, diplomacy, and respect (and danced for this world famous group internationally!). After graduating from the University of North Texas, I immediately began my career in the non-profit sector. I was blessed to work in leadership roles for charitable organizations that focus on inclusion, health, education and victim advocacy for 12 years before accepting the role of CEO for Leukemia Texas in 2011.

Over the past 5 years, our Leukemia Texas team brought this $400,000 a year organization to over $1,260,00… but we are just getting started. After losing a close friend to leukemia in the 1980’s, I continue my determination to not only find a cure but to support as many Texans as possible battling this cancer. Outside of work, I also find joy in spending time with my husband Craig, 2 boys, Duncan (4) and Cameron (2) and dog, Dallas!

My kids keep me humble, happy, tired, proud and heart filled. And any extra time from there I squeeze in supporting some of my other favorite organizations – Children’s Medical Center and The Birthday Party Project to name a few.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Few things in life come easy, that’s what makes success so sweet. I had to study harder than most for good grades, I kissed a lot of frogs before I met my prince, the road to pregnancy was tough but brought me my two beautiful children and I received more “nos” in my early fundraising asks, but received more significant and returning “yeses”…

I always keep in mind that in times of adversity, struggle builds character, and a strong character is a positive influence upon others!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Leukemia Texas – what should we know?
Leukemia Texas is a top-rated, independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to fighting the life-threatening blood cancer of leukemia through the funding of leukemia research and patient aid in Texas. We are the only organization of its kind where funds raised in Texas, stay in Texas!

For the past several years, we have been able to fund every eligible patient aid applicant (many referred to us from other cancer organizations), thanks to our generous donors. This year, Leukemia Texas earned the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Seal of Transparency. This is the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.

We generate revenue through special events (BEATLEukemia Ball, Golf Classic, Concert for a Cure, MJ Events and the new FlyAway Golf Event). In addition, we receive support from individual/corporate gifts, grants, campaigns and third-party events. I love that our gifts to patients and researchers are tangible. Our donors know exactly where their dollars are going. They not only provide financial support, but they provide HOPE.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
SO many people! My entire family has been incredibly supporting my entire life, especially my mother and best friend who always tells me ‘you never know unless you try’. My dance/drill team directors, several former supervisors, and a ton of friends. My sister is my idol and gives me encouragement and example of leading a successful work/life balance. My husband is my rock 24/7. He definitely makes me a better person.

Contact Info:

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