What's The Diff?

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The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man of the YearLosing one of the people you are closest to in the world must just suck.  I’m not sure how else to put it. It must be terrible.

I admit it hasn’t happened to me.  Not yet.  But it probably will. It has to. It’s as sure as the sun rising. Either someone you love and cherish will die or you will.  There is no other way around it.

That’s what happened to Mark Miller (that’s him on the right) when he lost his partner, Keith Hamm.

Keith died of lymphoma and I’m guessing Mark was shattered.  I don’t know Mark (I’ve seen him around the office; he’s the Quicken Loans L.E.A.D. Team leader – the L.E.A.D. Team is responsible for leadership training) and I didn’t know Keith, but I know what happened.

The reason I know is because Mark decided to act on his grief and do something positive. 

This resulted in him being named the Michigan Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year.    Mark was recognized for his "outstanding contributions as an individual to the society’s efforts to fund blood cancer research, education and patient services."

What happened was that when Mark lost his partner, he decided to do something to honor Keith’s memory.  Mark wanted to help others.  So, he decided to have a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for leukemia, and man did Mark throw a party. 

Partyers at the Keith Hamm Memorial FundraiserIt was so successful (over $35,000 raised in one evening) that Mark has decided to make it an annual event. 

Each year he’ll gather his friends to celebrate the life of Keith Hamm and to raise money to help others.  Just maybe, and of course it’s a long shot, but just maybe the money he’ll raise will save a life.  You never know until you try and Mark is trying.

So with that, THE DIFF salutes Mark Miller for celebrating life.

We think it’s really cool that Mark is going the extra mile to help others.  By memorializing a loved one who has passed, Mark is extending a gift to those still living.  This might sound corny, but Mark has turned tragedy and loss into triumph and life.

I didn’t make the first Keith Hamm tribute.  But I sure hope I make the next one.

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  1. That is such an awesome thing to be able to do.. to turn tragedy into something positive. When I lost my husband, I didn’t have the strength to do it.. I commend Mark for being able to look past the pain and find a way to help others. He is the perfect example of the Diff.

    Posted by: Janet | June 11, 2007
  2. Imagine the hardship Mark had to push through to hear all those people talk about Keith and still want to engage in that conversation and remember his life by helping others. The imprint someone must have left on your life to be able to do that is almost imaginable. Congrats on the success, I hope to be at the next one too!

    Posted by: Kriste | June 12, 2007

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Sunday, March 18, 2018