The Power of One

the-power-of-one_blog_staff-managament-SMXIn our recent blog post, Staff Management | SMX Holiday Appreciation in Archbold, we shared a story about how our organization gave back this season. A collective effort can cause a big impact, however Monica Flores, Global Finance Manager at Staff Management | SMX, showcased the powerful influence an individual can have in making a difference.

Earlier in the month Monica organized a benefit for her friend Carlos J Leon Jr., who had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. The event took place on December 1st at AG Lounge in Chicago. Carlos is a huge Bears fan, so the event centered on enjoying some food and beverages while watching a Bears vs. Vikings game. Several donations from different small business owners in the Chicagoland area were obtained at the event. Carlos and his wife Jamee have a daughter who is a freshman in college and a son who is a freshman in high school. Upon being diagnosed with cancer, his family went from a two parent income to a single parent income household. The event was organized to help the family relieve some of the financial burden and put their efforts into caring for Carlos.

Maurice Profit, former Client Service Coordinator at Staff Management | SMX, recently sat down to interview Monica Flores about the event.

How has your friend’s cancer diagnosis impacted you personally?

“So many young people are being diagnosed with cancer and it really hits home when it’s someone you know and it makes you realize that this disease can affect anyone. When I heard about Carlos’ illness, I truly wanted to do something to help him.”

Has organizing this event given you a renewed outlook in terms of health and wellness?

“It has made me appreciate life so much more and appreciate those in my life. It’s never too early or too late to begin focusing on your health and well-being. Yes, it can be a long and arduous journey, but when you see a friend fighting for his life, it makes you really appreciate your own health.”

What inspired you to organize this event?

“We had a couple of goals in mind for this event; raise funds for the Leon Family and raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. We are hoping that Carlos feels all the love and support from the event and that it helps with his recovery. Positive energy and having positive friends/family around are just as important for his recovery as are the medical treatments.”

Do you have tips on how others can be involved?

“Educate yourself on this disease and help to raise funds for not only Carlos but for all of those living with pancreatic cancer. According to www.pancan.org, “It is estimated that 45,220 new pancreatic cancer cases will be diagnosed across the US in 2013. While most other cancer rates (breast, prostate, lung and colon) showed a downward trend over the past decade, the rate of pancreatic cancer has increased at a rate of 0.9% per year for African American men, Caucasian men and women.”

For more information regarding the event, please visit the event Facebook page at //www.facebook.com/prayingforacureforcarlos >