Fort Mill resident and State Farm agent Brian Horine is taking on a big fight against leukemia and other cancers.
Horine is running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Charlotte Man of the Year, hoping to raise $100,000 to support the organization’s mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease.
“I’m trying real hard to make a difference,” he said.
The Man and Woman of the Year is a fundraising competition among a chosen group of community members who run in honor of local leukemia survivors, the Boy and Girl of the Year. The man and woman who raises the most during the 10-week period will be given the title for their area. Charlotte’s competition runs through May 21.
Horine’s goal of $100,000 is the estimated amount needed to conduct a clinical trial on a child, he said.
“I want to help save a child’s life,” he states on his fundraising page.
Horine is running in honor of Carmen Reitano, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 4 years old. She also fought meningitis and was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition characterized by water on the brain.
Reitano went through three years of treatments, chemotherapy and a medically induced coma. Now 11, she is doing well, Horine states on his page.
Horine said he personally knows parents whose children struggled with blood cancers and wants to be sure future generations do not know the same challenges.
“There are huge leaps and bounds that have been made through the advancement of technology and research, but we are not at the finish line yet,” he said.
Someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer every three minutes and more than 1.1 million people in the United States are either in remission or living with a blood cancer, according to the LLS.
Horine, whose office is in Baxter Village, said he wants to involve the Fort Mill community in his fight.
“We’ve always rallied around causes and projects,” he said.
Horine’s Man of the Year campaign manager Sal Incorvaia is hoping to raise $25,000 toward Horine’s goal in honor of his childhood friend Jennifer Nissen. After battling leukemia, Nissen passed away Oct. 28, 2003 at 32 years old, leaving behind three young children, according to Incorvaia’s fundraising message.
Incorvaia said he has always been very involved in the area, serving on the Fort Mill Area Council of the York Chamber Council of Commerce and as president of the Fort Mill Elks Lodge, and saw this competition as another way to give back.
“It’s something that has always been a passion for me, to help the community,” he said.
Incorvaia is joining his co-workers at Visual Branding, a marketing firm in Fort Mill, in supporting Horine’s campaign.
Olgia Kenner, director of Visual Branding, said their goal is to help unite the Fort Mill community to raise the funds.
“Let’s see what we as a community can do when we get together,” she said.
Incorvaia said helping Horine take home the title would be great for Fort Mill.
“Knowing we are making a huge impact on research from our community would be phenomenal,” he said.
If Horine wins, he will be the first LLS Man of the Year from Fort Mill, he said.
Kenner said no donation is too small in the fight against what she terms “stupid cancer.”
“A little bit makes a huge difference in somebody’s life that needs it the most,” she said. “We’ve got to win this battle one way or another.”
Amanda Harris: @amanda_d_harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to help?
To donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man or Woman of the Year fundraising competition, visit Brian Horine’s page at mwoy.org/pages/nc/clt16/bhorine or Sal Incorvaia's page at mwoy.org/pages/nc/clt16/sincorvaia. The campaign ends Saturday, May 21. For more, go to Fort Mill Against Cancer on Facebook.