This June will be the 20th annual BeatLeukemia Ball, and we’re so excited to preview our milestone Ball by announcing this year’s chairs will be the Long family. We recently sat down with Leukemia Texas Board Member and Ball Chair Jay Long to discuss all things LTX.
What brought you to Leukemia Texas and how did you get involved with the organization?
I managed sponsorships for Coca-Cola and received a letter from the organization to sponsor the Ball. I saw the Fab Four and bought a table.
How long have you been involved with LTX and how many years have you been on the Board?
I think I first attended the Ball in 2005. I was asked to join the board in late 2006.
You and your family are Chairs of this year’s 20th annual BeatLeukemia Ball. How did that come about?
My son Jayson was diagnosed with leukemia in May of 2007. He attended and spoke at the Ball that year. My wife and 2 daughters attended as well. We were treated so well by Leukemia Texas, and the family loved the Ball so much, we have attended every year since. The staff has been incredible and given us so much support, we felt we need to give back for all the love we have received over the years.
What’s your favorite thing about the BeatLeukemia Ball?
I would say the Fab Four since I am a Beatles freak. But the relationships we have built over the years are outstanding. The best part is all the support we give to families through the Ball and meeting some of those families. Also hanging out with the staff at Leukemia Texas. Y’all rock!
What role do you and the other board members play at LTX?
We try to raise awareness for the organization, raise money, and volunteer to help with events and meetings.
Do you have a special connection to leukemia in your own life or a patient story that has touched you in a special way?
I will never be able to say ‘thank you’ enough for the support my family received when my son was diagnosed. My family absolutely loves this organization, and we are so honored to get to be a part of the journey to help families and find a cure.
What achievement are you most proud of at LTX?
The grants we have rewarded are awesome. But the patient aid is such a huge benefit for families. I think that is the best of us. It can take a burden off a family’s shoulders and give them a moment of peace. And they need those.
What is the biggest challenge you face at LTX?
I think the economy now and competing with so many organizations. When I was at Coke, there were over 3,000 registered charities in North Texas.
What inspires you and/or keeps you motivated regarding the work LTX does?
The amazing memory of LTX support for my family, the relationships I have with the organization now, and people are still getting sick. Hopefully some day we won’t be needed. Until then, we keep working.
Where do you see LTX in 5-10 years? What’s your vision for the future of the organization?
Recognized as the best in Texas. Build a broader base of support across Texas. Maybe a second Ball in another big location. Jessica can do it!