2014 Revel

100 Women We Love

photo by Mary Spano
Mardi Grant
Five years ago, Grant visited her former Manhattan neighborhood near the WTC, and was saddened by how terribly impacted it had been. That night, she turned on the TV to Last Call with Carson Daly and was inspired when Denis Leary handed Daly a t-shirt with the names of the 343 firefighters who perished on 9/11. “I wanted to get the shirt,” says Grant. “When I called The Leary Firefighters Foundation, I said, ‘By the way, I have a background in non-profit event planning.’ Then they called me.” When Leary opened a New York office of his charitable foundation, the only in the U.S. raising money for firefighters' equipment and training, Grant was hired as Operations Manager. She does everything she can to keep the organization running smoothly, including celebrity wrangling, fundraising, and rolling up her sleeves to deal with every minor to major detail. Grant is also developing an audience-interactive storytelling performance piece called The Dirty Little C-Word based on her experience dealing with and recovering from colon cancer. After her stage-four tumors were removed, she underwent chemotherapy, and was declared cancer-free in October 2006. –DP
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