We are very excited and proud to announce our honoree for our tenth annual Run For the Roses Kentucky Derby Party. We hope you can join us in honoring one of our favorite Houston philanthropists this year – Therese Landa.
About our 2017 Honoree – Therese Landa
A fourth generation Houstonian from a large catholic family, Therese Landa was raised understanding the importance of hard work, service to her community, and faith in God early on. The value of education was also stressed in the Landa household, and after high school Therese continued her studies at Texas A&M, working hard as a waitress to pay her own tuition.
During the Christmas break of 1984, Therese became ill with what she initially thought was a cold, but continued to work. She quickly realized her malady was something more serious; a lump had formed at the base of her tongue and continued to grow. After the mass began to bleed, her father drove Therese to see specialists in Houston. It was then discovered that the lump was a tumor, caused by an aggressive cancer called Burkitt’s Lymphoma. She entered treatment, which included chemotherapy, and despite being in an enormous amount of discomfort managed to maintain a 3.8 grade point average during her second year of college.
After treatment Therese survived, winning her two-year struggle against the cancer with support from her doctors and family. She lived life by a personal mantra of “I am the dominant force!”, and “God does not give you more than you can handle” and launched back into her college studies. Unfortunately however, she was soon faced with the heartbreak of her father being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Following his passing, and facing mounting medical and college expenses, Therese worked to pay down her debt and eventually got her real estate license several years later. She soon became successful in that field, and after working for others, opened her own real estate brokerage company Houstonian Properties in 2009. A couple of years later, Therese’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and after a valiant fight against it, passed away in 2013.
After her own experiences in fighting cancer, and losing both parents to the disease, Therese Landa has become a tireless supporter and advocate for other people who are facing their own struggles with cancer. Therese is intimately aware of the toll that a battle with cancer can take on a person, and that it is an emotional experience that can seem insurmountable. She lets them know how long she has survived since defeating Burkitt’s Lymphoma, and let’s her example prove that life after cancer is possible and can be wonderful and long-lived.