Raising money to fight cancer

Chantel Goetz-Soumis is a candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year. Each year, volunteers from across the road campaign for 10 straight weeks, reaching out to the community for donations to support families affected by blood cancer and the research behind the search for a cure.

Cottage Grove’s Chantel Goetz-Soumis believes patients living with cancer are even more susceptible to illness, making it more important than ever to support research efforts and families affected by cancer.

To that end, she has helped organize and promote virtual beer tastings and other similar events to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

“We are hosting regular, virtual beer tastings, to support local breweries while also gathering donations for ‘samples’ of the selected brews, delivered to their doorsteps,” Goetz-Soumis said.

One such party was held in March with assistance from Trixie’s Liquor on East Washington Avenue in Madison.

Goetz-Soumis is a candidate for the LLS Woman of the Year. Each year, volunteers from across the road campaign for 10 straight weeks, reaching out to the community for donations to support families affected by blood cancer and the research behind the search for a cure.

“My original goal was to be the first-ever Madisonian to raise $100,000,” Goetz-Soumis said. “Unfortunately, I had to completely switch gears after canceling half a dozen events. As a member of the chronic illness community, I’m high risk, so I’m taking social distancing as seriously as I’m committed to finding a cure. When cancer loses, we all win.”

Goetz-Soumis has a handful of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, an incurable disease of the nervous system that causes neurological deterioration. One of the rare side effects of the chemotherapy-like treatments to delay progression is leukemia, setting in a very personal mission for the LLS fundraiser.

“It’s no wonder why Madison has been voted time and time again as one of the best places to live,” she said. “The community here is so heart-centered and generous, and I couldn’t be prouder to call this place home.”

To make a donation to LLS, visit https://pages.lls.org/mwoy/wi/madison20/csoumis.

To learn more about the virtual beer tastings for an invitation, email Goetz-Soumis at hello@chantelsoumis.com.

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