Anita Malik and her family realize that you do not need to be in Congress to help people inside and outside the local community.

The two-time Congressional District Six Candidate (and 2018 Democratic Nominee) has recently been named a candidate for Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in their quest to raise a million dollars to combat blood cancer.


This is an issue close to Ms. Malik’s heart because her father succumbed to Multiple Myeloma twenty years ago.

The Maliks are also participating in the Arizona State University Project to build clean air filters for interested schools and workplaces.

She is also looking for ways to help first time female candidates succeed in the 2022 elections and build a strong bench for future elections.

Ms. Malik graciously took the time to discuss the vital projects she is working on.

The questions and her responses are below.

  • Please tell the reader about your work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The Man and Woman of the Year Campaign to help fight blood cancers is something that’s done annually, throughout the country in different markets.

There are different regions that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are in. This is for Arizona. This year, there are 10 candidates that were nominated. The Society spends a lot of time kind of looking for people within the community that have a connection to blood cancer in some way, who really are motivated to find a cure, and who will go out there and do that work. It’s a big commitment. Everybody wants to raise a lot. There’s ten candidates and it’s a ten-week campaign. It started on March 4th and it ends on May 14th with a grand finale gala.

Each of us is tasked to raise as much money as we possibly can to help with patient support services for people suffering from blood cancers along with funding research. There’s even work that they do in DC on the advocacy and policy side. It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart, and I’ll get out there and try to raise as much as I possibly can.

How much do you have a goal in mind of how much you’d like to raise away these next ten weeks?

I can tell you that the overall local campaign with the ten candidates, they hope to raise at least a million dollars.

I’m a competitive person. So of course, there’s that part of you that wants to win, but at the end of the day, I’m just happy to be helping with whatever we are able to raise and to bring awareness.

  • Please tell the readers, at least two reasons you are working to fight blood cancers.

I think most people that read your blog will know me from my congressional runs and know my stances on healthcare. And you know, this is one aspect of healthcare that is so important to me, the work that LLS does, because part of what they do is also looking at equity in terms of treatmentand research and, and support for patients with cancer.

So that really aligns to what I believe in, in terms of really bringing down the cost for patients and for families, and to have that equity in healthcare.

But it’s also personal. My father passed from Multiple Myeloma almost 20 years ago now. That’s one of the blood cancers. It’s called the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but they cover all blood cancers. Multiple Myeloma still, has no cure, but there’s been significant progress since my father passed. And you know, over the years, I think it’s something that you reflect on as you get older. You know, what can I do both in his honor and memory to continue to help others not go through what we did. His passing shaped my life in so many different ways and propelled me maybe more into service.

I have also carried many of his lessons with me, for example, he always said if you don’t have your health, all the other things you’ve worked so hard for or tried to achieve… if those have caused you to, you know, get in that position with your health, what does it amount to? Without your health, it’s the time with your family, children, grandchildren, friends, community that you’re missing out on.

It is easy to forget that in the busyness of our daily lives and when policy doesn’t support wellness and health for all.


  • What are at least two ways you and the society will work to combat blood cancer?

This month is actually National Myeloma Awareness month.

Like I said, there’s no cure, but the Society has helped with outcomes so far that are really exciting to see.

Also certain cancers, we do see them impact different groups more. Myeloma, for example, impacts the African American community more. So again, working toward equity in care and access is so important. Overall, every dollar that someone contributes to the foundation is really going to those cures in different areas. There’s been so much work done.

They’ve now stood up a pediatric division of LLS. So, it’s specific to making sure that there’s a lot more focus and research done specifically for children.

Then there’s advocacy services. They’re out there in DC. They were out there advocating for the surprise billing legislation that passed. More work needs to be done, but it is great to see that. It’s such important work.

I think the biggest thing that I would want people to take away is the research. The research that they’re coming up with is often not just for blood cancers. You’ll find the application to other cancers. This is really about curing cancer as a whole.

Can you please explain the Surprise Billing Legislation for the readers?

There are many types of surprise billing but the biggest one that people see is when you’re having an emergency situation or even a regular scheduled surgery, You go into the hospital. You have coverage. Somehow a provider that’s not within your network with your insurance is on your case. Anesthesiologist is a great example. They then bill you that out of network cost and that higher cost.

So those bills are then just off to the patient and to their families. And the surprise billing legislation has come up with a way to mediate that. So, the insurance companies and the providers have to kind of work around that to make sure that the patient’s not paying more than they would, because suddenly it’s an out of network provider.

It’s great to see because it is bipartisan. It took a long way to get, you know, I think both sides had a different opinion. I had a different opinion than the G O P side of how to get that done in terms of whether it’s mediation, who carries the burden at the end of the day, but it’s progress in the right direction.

But it only covers that instance of surprise billing. And there are so, so many different ways that people are kind of slapped with a bill that t really shouldn’t be on them and they have insurance. And obviously my story is one of those. So, you know, in my case, this wouldn’t have helped, but again, it’s progress in the right direction, but there’s more work to be done there.

  •  If applicable, please advise how your work with the society ties in with the recent Biden Harris administration pushed to cut cancer rates in half?

The Cancer Moonshot program is a wonderful commitment that’s been made by the Biden Administration. We’re seeing it take place in so many different ways. he cancer cabinet and they’ve stood up to really innovate, in different and new ways to combat diseases. They are working on early screening, particularly coming out of COVID, you know, people missed those normal screening appointments. How do we get back to that point and catch up, and also again, more equity in terms of diagnosis,screening and access.

To me, it’s an extremely encouraging positive effort that probably people aren’t talking about much with everything else going on politically.

What LLS does is obviously they’re a separate nonprofit, but part of themoonshot program is really to call on and to organize those groups and say how are we all working from private to nonprofit, to public sector to move efforts forward.

To me, it’s encouraging whenever we can contribute, particularly to the development of cures and to the support for early screening and diagnosis.

  • Is there anything not covered in the first five questions you’d like to know to readers about your work with the society or any other community project

As far as what I’m doing with this campaign for LLS, just that there are events to come and some for the political audience, that I think will be interesting.  When I have details, I’ll share!

Please click on the social media links below to find out more about the projects Ms. Malik is working on with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, ASU, and other organizations.

Anita’s LLS Campaign page:
All candidates/MWOY Arizona page:
ASU Community Project: