NEW + NOW > Get to Know | Village Voices > January 29, 2024

Get to Know… Brooke Shelby and Samantha Wortley with LLS

Brooke Shelby and Samantha Wortley


Explain the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission and how you got involved with the organization.

Brooke Shelby: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds research to advance lifesaving treatments, drives advocacy for policies that protect patient access to treatment, and provides patients and families with hope, guidance, education, and support.

I have attended the luncheon over the years to provide support to the organization, as I have friends who have lost loved ones to myeloma and lymphoma. Additionally, I have known Samantha and her mother for years. I think the world of both. When Samantha’s mom, “Big Mom,” as she is affectionately called, was diagnosed with lymphoma, my heart broke. Big Mom is strong, resilient, and a fighter, so I have all the faith she will emerge from her battle victorious. I am truly honored to co-chair the luncheon with Samantha and support the work of LLS.

Samantha Wortley: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society provides critical research, treatments, and support to patients battling these specific cancers. I have been involved as a committee member as well as a supporter of the luncheon in the past. Last year it became very personal to me because my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma in January of 2023. The following month I attended the LLS luncheon while she was undergoing chemo treatment. After last year’s luncheon and my mother’s diagnosis, I felt called to get more involved with LLS and their amazing mission so I can make a difference for other patients and their families.


Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Brooke Shelby: I have lived in Dallas for 26 years. My husband, Aaron, and I have two sons, Pierce and Larsen. I attended the University of Texas, and my degree is a Bachelor of Journalism. I worked for many years in the nonprofit sector, and when I left my full-time job to become a full-time mom, I continued to give back by volunteering my time to various nonprofit organizations.

Samantha Wortley: I am a Dallas resident by way of growing up in Houston and attending the University of Texas at Austin. I started my career at Neiman Marcus in the corporate buying program. I now own my own embroidery business, Sew Stitchin’ Fancy, and am an active mother with my two young daughters. When I am not with my family, I enjoy traveling, working out, and helping with various philanthropic causes and leagues, and sitting on boards within the community.


What makes LLS so special and impactful to the Dallas community?

Brooke Shelby: LLS is the largest cancer research agency specifically focused on finding cures and better treatments for blood cancer patients. With the work and research LLS is doing, others will live longer and have quality lives.

Samantha Wortley: LLS has various ways to support not only patients but the families and caregivers going through the diagnosis as well. Cancer is not the same for everyone, and LLS has made strides in differentiating treatments based on the patient’s age. This is so important in improving the long-term effects of the treatments and medicines for pediatric patients.


What do you enjoy the most about being a part of the LLS organization?

Brooke Shelby: The St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon differs from most other luncheons. It’s upbeat and fun with a beautiful fashion show from Highland Park Village. Additionally, the award recipients this year are all amazing — Icon Award: Janet Evans and Rusty Duvall; Lynda Adleta Heart of Gold Award: Moll Anderson; Spirit of Tom Landry Award: Campbell Fearing; and the Memorial Hero Award: Ryan Anthony.

Also, our honorary chairs, Debbie Hayhurst, Libby Hunt, and Sharon McCullough, are all respected and honored members of the Dallas community, and I have so enjoyed working with them.

The St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon is a fun way to spend time with good friends while raising funds for a very important cause.

Samantha Wortley: I love helping give back and making a difference directly for an organization helping patients like my mother. She is my hero, and I would love to help in any way I can to wipe out these horrible cancers and diseases by helping to raise research funds. I watched how brutal the chemo treatments were for her, so if there is a way that the dollars I’m helping to raise can keep these treatments in favor of the patients, I will feel like my contribution was worthwhile.


How does support from community partners like Highland Park Village help LLS have a greater impact?

Brooke Shelby: Without the generous support of partners like Highland Park Village, LLS and others would not be able to raise funds for their programs and research efforts that are so critically needed. The generosity of Highland Park Village is so appreciated, as the Fashion Show is what makes the event so fun! We are thrilled to have fashions by alice+olivia, FRAME, La Vie Style House, Lela Rose, LoveShackFancy, and MARKET.

Samantha Wortley: Support from partners like Highland Park Village helps organizations like LLS gain more visibility to audiences that may not know about them. In addition, being associated with such respected partners like Highland Park Village helps to get more people involved with LLS in various ways.


What are some ways people in North Texas can get involved with LLS?

Brooke Shelby: A way to support LLS is to purchase a ticket, table, or sponsorship for the St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon on February 8, 2024, at the Meyerson Symphony Center or by volunteering and donating to the event.

Samantha Wortley: LLS has multiple events that are great for anyone, depending on the amount of involvement they would like. There are wonderful opportunities for people to give back alongside family or professional teams. There are hands-on ways to help as well as monetary ways to assist in research and treatment plans.


Where would we most likely find you in Highland Park Village?

Brooke Shelby: While I love everything about Highland Park Village, without a doubt you will find me at Ralph Lauren. It is my favorite store!

Samantha Wortley: Probably having lunch at my favorite restaurant in Dallas, Café Pacific, to get some pre-shopping fuel!


Highland Park Village is proud to spotlight our very own dynamic personalities and community partners in the Village Voices series. Get to know our past features.