A digital marketing specialist with a big following among investment professionals recently put her expertise to work to tackle a family health crisis — and learned just how supportive people in the industry and beyond can be.
Samantha Russell, chief evangelist at financial advisor marketing firm FMG Suite, turned to LinkedIn and Twitter on May 23 with an urgent call on behalf of her husband, Ryan Russell, who has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“Friends, I desperately need your help,” she started her LinkedIn post, asking for contacts at the Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo, which has developed a promising glioblastoma treatment, or at one of the few hospitals in Japan where it’s available.
Samantha, a 2021 ThinkAdvisor LUMINARIES winner in thought leadership who has more than 26,600 LinkedIn followers, also told her audience that she’d been pursuing potential treatment for her husband at brain tumor centers at Duke University and the University of Florida.
“Ryan is 39 years old, an associate professor at Penn State University, and co-founder of Twenty Over Ten, an FMG Company,” she wrote, citing the digital marketing platform that she helped to launch.
“Most importantly, he is the dad to 3 great kiddos under 6 years old, and the love of my life. I wouldn’t normally go to LinkedIn for help – but in this case, with the urgency of the situation combined with us not speaking/writing/reading Japanese, I thought it couldn’t hurt.”
Three days later, Samantha announced that she and Ryan had gotten all the help they needed and had received a massive response to the LinkedIn post.
More than 10 Million Views
“We have no words. ‘Thank you’ does not feel like nearly enough,” she wrote on May 26, providing written and video updates and thanks.
“The last 48 hours have been nothing short of a miracle – this amazing community has come together and you have all shared our story over and over again – and as of this morning, over 10 MILLION people have now read it,” she added.
“As we watched thousands and thousands of messages come in from people from around the world – Ryan Russell and I just kept saying ‘This is incredible.’ We wish more people could read all of the encouraging, uplifting, helpful notes that we are reading.”
“At our core – humans are inherently good,” she added.
The institutions she had mentioned were flooded with messages and Daiichi Sankyo had called and spoken with Samantha. The couple also had connected with a cancer team at Duke.