Roxanne Fetsch and her husband, Sean, with LHHS grad Shannon McDaniel (center)

Just a few hours remain until the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society name their Woman or Man of the Year, and Lake Highlands High grad Shannon McDaniel is anxiously awaiting the announcement. McDaniel was nominated for the honor based on her work raising money for research and treatment in the fight against blood cancers.

McDaniel says she became motivated to support LLS when her friend, Roxanne Fetsch, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia last August. The two became close while attending the University of Missouri, and McDaniel has struggled watching Fetsch fight for her life.

“Anyone who has the pleasure of knowing Roxanne knows how smart, hilarious and genuine she is,” says McDaniel. “She has the incredible gift of always lighting up the room, and it is impossible to be around Roxanne for long without laughing. She is many things to many people – teacher, coach, friend, sister, wife, daughter, and soon, she will be a survivor.”

McDaniel has hosted several events, including restaurant givebacks, a fundraising brunch, trivia night and a sand volleyball tournament. Donations to her page online will add to her total, and the nominee with the highest contribution count will be named Man or Woman of the Year at the Finale Gala tonight in St. Louis.

Last year’s event raised more than $600,000.

If you’d like to support McDaniel, Fetsch and folks grappling with LLS, you may donate online here.