Sellers Competing For Woman Of The Year, Honors Mothers

April 10, 2018
By: Karen E. Butler, Director of Communications

Catherine Sellers, then 30, and her husband, Jay, then 28, pose in separate photos with their respective mothers. Both mothers later lost battles with blood cancers.Catherine Sellers, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC,OCN, Duke Cancer Center Raleigh, has been nominated to compete in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 2018 Woman of the Year campaign.

Sellers, 42, an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for a disease that took lives of both her mother, Terry Steele, and mother-in-law, Laura Anne Carpenter.

“My mother was just 59 years old when she passed away in 2009 after a long 11-year battle with lymphoma, followed by leukemia,” said Sellers, whose mother and mother-in-law were treated at Duke. “My mother-in-law was 63 years old when in 2013 she also lost her battle with leukemia.”

The LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) campaign is a fundraising competition in which nominees compete for the title of Man or Woman of the Year. Participants raise funds for LLS blood cancer research in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors. The titles are awarded to the man and woman in each community who raises the most funds during the ten-week campaign; the top local fundraisers in the country also win the national titles. To raise funds, participants reach out to their personal and professional networks and also often host fundraisers—uniting their hobbies and passion with their commitment to support LLS and the fight against blood cancers.

“I have a team of 12 devoted and energetic family members, friends and colleagues all over the U.S. who are reaching out to their networks seeking donations and corporate sponsorships,” explained Sellers. “We are hosting fun-filled events and utilizing email and social media to help get the word out.”

Sellers calls her supporters, team CancErasers.

Catherine Sellers consults with Duke Cancer Center Raleigh colleague and lead radiation therapist Tim Kelly.“We are working to erase blood cancers from this world,” she shared, excitedly. “I have always thought of my work as, not just a job, but a calling. I accepted this nomination in an effort to give back to the cancer community I so adore. This also enables me to honor the lives of my late mother and mother-in-law.”

Sellers said she is also competing in support of former patients and friends, especially for leukemia survivor David Zaas, president of Duke Raleigh Hospital.

“He is not only surviving; he’s thriving,” said Sellers. “He is an amazing example of resilience and courage for those of us working in cancer care. He inspires both staff and patients. This is our opportunity to show him our support.”

Funds raised through the Man and Woman of The Year Campaign provide for ongoing research nationwide. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society currently funds more than a $1.2 million in research grants at Duke.

To learn more about the Man and Woman of The Year Campaign or to support Sellers bid for the title, please go to Sellers For Woman of the Year.

Circle Photo: Catherine Sellers poses with Colt Revers, the LLS Boy of the Year. Revers, 6, is undergoing treatment for B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia at Duke Children's Medical Center.