Leadership and Honorees

Chairs

*Danielle and Chad Stephens

Host Committee

Shawn Aslam
Beth and Scott Berk
*Suzette Plaisance Bryan
*Sallie Groves
Matt McCullough
Kathleen Rutledge
*Sindy Smith
Karen and Aric Stock
John Wagner

* Indicates our members of leadership who served on the 2016 Host Committee.

Honorees

James Chippendale

James Chippendale

Community Leader Award

James Chippendale is a leukemia survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient. James enjoyed a successful life leading one of the country’s largest entertainment insurance brokerage firms, but all that changed in 2000 when, at just 31 years old, he was diagnosed with leukemia. James needed a bone marrow transplant, and, thankfully, found a matching donor for his lifesaving transplant later that year. After successfully beating his cancer, he founded the Love Hope Strength Foundation to highlight the need for more donors and register more potential lifesavers. By using his entertainment insurance connections and love for music, he began educating and swabbing concert-goers around the world. Since 2006, James has tried to give other people the second chance he had, and his efforts have improved the outcomes of many cancer patients.

Henna and Omar Durani

Henna and Omar Durani

Community Service Award

Henna and Omar Durani experienced a trying period in their lives after their nine-month-old daughter Kenza was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) last year. Kenza was in need of a bone marrow transplant, which they learned would be a difficult task. Henna and Omar rallied with their family and friends to organize donor drives for their daughter, and they made it their mission to raise awareness around diversifying the national bone marrow donor registry. The Duranis’ search inspired over 3,000 people around the nation to join the registry for patients like Kenza, and many of those potential lifesavers represented minority communities. Ultimately, in August 2016, Omar provided Kenza with a haploid, or half match, transplant. The family feels very fortunate and blessed that Kenza received a second chance at life. Through Kenza’s drives, they were able to find several matches for other patients in need as well.

Rachel McCullough

Rachel McCullough

Emerging Leader Award

Rachel McCullough has seen firsthand how the generosity of a bone marrow donor can have an incredibly positive impact on another person’s life. In early 2017, Rachel’s mom, Linda, received news that her acute myeloid leukemia (AML) had relapsed. Fortunately, she received a lifesaving transplant in April that gave her more time with her loved ones. Rachel is a devoted daughter and busy college student. She recently completed her sophomore year at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is pursuing a major in communications and a minor in business. She is heavily involved on campus with a variety of organizations and is serving as an executive officer for UT’s chapter of DKMS, where she advocates for her peers to join the national bone marrow donor registry. Rachel has organized seven donor drives, swabbing 275 potential lifesavers.