First Nominations for ‘No Limits’ Award Announced

San Diego, CA – The first of several nominations for the “No Limits” Award, sponsored by ROI Media Direct, a leading direct response advertising agency, were announced to celebrate businesspeople from all walks of life who have overcome physical adversity and achieved success.

The “No Limits” Award was created to inspire individuals suffering from cancer, blindness and other disabilities to never give up on their dreams, with the winner selected from nominations submitted to the “No Limits” Award Mission Website, NoLimitsMission.org, throughout the year.

At a special award ceremony (date TBA), the “No Limits” Award winner will be handed a check for $5,000 to be given to the Braille Institute, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or the designated charity of his or her choice.

In addition, the winner’s charity or cause will receive $5,000 in free national media exposure via radio and/or television public service announcements.  A nationwide press release program will also be launched through PRWeb to tens of thousands of media outlets featuring the winner’s story and charity.

“We’re also looking at other tangible ways of supporting the charitable causes of our 2012 ‘No Limits’ Award Mission, such as free computers for the blind,” said Patrick Lennon, CEO and founding partner at ROI Media Direct, who conceived the program after enduring multiple life-threatening brain surgeries, two bouts with cancer, a heart aneurysm, a stem cell transplant and blindness.

According to Lennon, one of the key goals of the “No Limits” Award is to facilitate mentoring opportunities for business executives who would like to pass their experience and knowledge along to others facing extreme medical challenges, often for the first time.

“We’ve already met some amazing people with truly inspirational stories,” said Lennon, 44, who has helped build ROI Media Direct into one of the top radio and television direct response advertising agencies in the country.  “It’s been so gratifying having people contacting us – not because they want to be considered for the ‘No Limits’ Award – but because they simply want to help others.”

Lennon cites one such business executive, Craig Schneider, as a perfect example of a business professional who has dedicated his life to giving back.  Craig was an extremely driven, talented and very successful building contractor with his own company, only to be diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 29.

Unfortunately, the radiation therapy he received left him with radiation ulcers in his stomach and intestines and Craig suffered with this illness until 1991, when he obtained a selective vagotomy (a procedure that severs nerves providing acid for digestion). In 1994, Craig lost 90% of his vision while living in a home contaminated by radon gas.  By March of 1999, Craig had lost 100% of his vision. This immediately changed his world.

After struggling with denial and depression over his situation for a number of years, he discovered his calling was to help others and formed a non-profit organization called Charities for the Blind, which offers incredibly advanced, but easy-to-use computers and software for the visually impaired.  In 2004, Craig went on to start a for profit company helping people with disabilities through the Department of Rehabilitation and Wounded Warriors.  He’s helped over a thousand children and adults so far, and was recognized for his charitable work by Congress in 2008.

Lennon believes that Craig’s story will help many other people coping with vision loss, “Myself included,” he added.  “It took me a number of years to search out the right computer programs that would allow me to efficiently do my job.  I’ve already ordered Craig’s software and personalized training, which is exactly how we hope to put people together to help them solve a multitude of issues resulting from various medical conditions.”

Cancer-free for the last five years, the unimaginable crescendo in a long litany of medical ordeals for Lennon occurred at the MD Anderson Cancer Center where he underwent a stem cell transplant in 2007.  “They basically bring you to death’s door by ajaxing your system with chemo, and immediately place you on life-support,” he said.  He lost 55 pounds during the grueling three-month procedure that required removing his own bone marrow for transplanting later, “zeroing out” his white blood cell count and laying waste to his immune system.  While the stem cell transplant worked, it left him legally blind, but more determined than ever to achieve his career dreams.