Nelson and Louisa Levy
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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is delighted to recognize Nelson and Louisa Levy as the MMRF Spirit of Hope Honorees at the 2017 MMRF Team for Cures: Chicago 5K Walk/Run.
Nelson and Louisa Levy
Posted September 2017
When Louisa was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February of 2012, she, along with her husband Nelson, were in search of a myeloma-oriented organization with the most credibility in both patient assistance and research support. They found that the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation was the clear choice. As a research scientist and an owner of a chemistry-based research company, Nelson wanted to take an active role in research to discover new anti-myeloma drugs. He contacted the MMRF to help him “marry” his company’s chemistry expertise with academic labs strong in myeloma-oriented biology but without the chemistry capability necessary to translate their biological insights into new chemical entities.
“Not only is the MMRF a most-deserving charity in terms of the efficiency with which it uses its funds, but it is a particularly vital charity, because, relative to other diseases, myeloma research receives little Federal support.”
When Louisa was first diagnosed, her sons set up a website where people could sign up to bring dinners. They created daily time slots extending out three months. Within a day, all the slots were filled, and the boys had to add three more months of time-slots. This went on for almost a year until Louisa, post-transplant and in remission, asked that it be stopped. This was Louisa’s lifetime of grace and generosity being recognized not just by family and close friends but by myriad people she barely knew. Louisa is a person of great faith. In addition, her lifelong generosity and benevolence have engendered wonderful support for her among the many people she has touched.
Nelson and Louisa first discovered the Chicago 5K Walk/Run in 2013 when they read about it on the MMRF’s website. They had both been runners for years, and Louisa was a great triathlete so the event was a natural way for them to express their support for the MMRF and its mission. Nelson’s favorite nickname for Louisa is “Weezuhl”, often shortened to “Weezie” so they created the team “Weezie’s Winners” and started recruiting team members.
Weezie’s Winners is comprised of many of the Levy’s family members and close friends and they have a long standing tradition of going out to lunch together after the race. Nelson says the real tradition, however, is his fundraising effort before the race. The team has consistently been one of our top fundraising teams since they began participating. Nelson’s main fundraising platform has been sending emails and making phone calls. Nelson’s motivation for raising funds for the MMRF is to fuel funding for research and maximize the excellence of his wife’s care.
“We are surprised and humbled to be chosen to receive the Award. But I would say that the MMRF chose well in selecting Louisa as a recipient, because, among the many patients I have known in my life, she is the bravest, strongest and most resilient – and does truly embody a spirit of hope,” Nelson stated.
The MMRF works tirelessly to find a cure to extend the lives of patients and we are proud to honor Nelson and Louisa Levy as the 2017 recipient of the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award, given at every MMRF 5K Walk/Run event to a person or team who inspires hope and shows extraordinary commitment to the MMRF. Nelson and Louisa have touched the myeloma community with their strength of character, their kindness, and their embodiment of hope.