Getting to know: Jason Schiffman
PhilanthropyLymphoma Society Pittsburgh Visionary of the Year

Getting to know: Jason Schiffman

Schiffman raised more than $162,000 to help fight blood cancer.

Jason Schiffman and Jennifer Schiffman (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Schiffman)
Jason Schiffman and Jennifer Schiffman (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Schiffman)

Local attorney Jason Schiffman was named the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Pittsburgh Visionary of the Year after raising $162,408 for the organization.

LLS, a national nonprofit with the mission of curing and supporting patients with blood cancer, hosts a Visionaries program in Pittsburgh annually. The 2024 campaign raised $665,136, setting a new regional record, with Schiffman as the leading fundraiser.

Across 10 weeks, Schiffman said he took different strategies in his fundraising. He shared thousands of letters and emails, found support through local businesses and even conducted a fundraiser with the chance to win a guitar signed by Taylor Swift.

“At one point, I calculated I had sent something like 1,300 emails,” Schiffman said. “We made hundreds of calls. Every lunch we would just get on the phone and call people that we had sent all of these letters to and just continuously follow up.”

Schiffman said working on the campaign was akin to a full-time job, so he relied on a team of more than 10 to help fundraise.

His wife, Jennifer Schiffman, served alongside him as the team campaign manager. She committed to putting in the hours with her husband, and she was recognized as the LLS team member of the year for her efforts in this year’s campaign.

“We don’t do anything less than 110%,” she said. “So, when Jason was going to do it, I was like, all right, we’ll do it together.”

The Schiffmans live in Mt. Lebanon and attend the Beth El Congregation of the South Hills.

Although he was asked by a friend to start a campaign for the first time more than a decade ago, Schiffman wanted to ensure that he could dedicate the appropriate time and effort before committing to it. He said that he understood that starting a campaign could interfere with his work as an attorney.

“A different connection asked me to run a campaign, and I was pretty resistant to do so,” he said. “I said I really don’t know because I know that it’s a really huge time commitment and I have my own business. I don’t want to take it on unless I know I can do a good job.”

Schiffman is a partner at Schiffman Firm, the law firm he owns with his brother, Daniel Schiffman. He has dedicated his career to helping the sick and injured as he represents clients dealing with severe injuries. His work for LLS and finding a cure for blood cancer similarly reflects his devotion to helping those in need.

Within a week of being asked to run an LLS campaign, Schiffman heard the story of Officer Mark Smilek on the news.

Smilek worked as a Sewickley Borough police officer and showed his love for his community through his work. He was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2017, and he lost his seven-year fight to blood cancer in January.

After reaching out to Smilek’s wife, Dr. Hillary Jones, Schiffman started an LLS campaign in his honor. Through the fundraising, he shared Smilek’s story, bringing to light his national and community service and his fight against blood cancer.

LLS advertises three pillars of its mission: research, patient support and policy and advocacy. Schiffman’s fundraising focused on research, leading his team to win the research award for the 2024 Visionaries of the Year program.

“A vast majority of all FDA-approved cancer treatments start with blood cancer research,” Schiffman said. “Unfortunately, blood cancers are notoriously really hard to treat. But a lot of the time, the treatments start with a really broad approach, and they have pathways to help with other types of cancer.”

Despite the work that goes into it, Jason and Jennifer Schiffman said that they hope to inspire others to get involved with LLS or other charitable organizations.

“Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, you can make a huge difference,” Jennifer Schiffman said. “If you set your mind to something like this to make an impact, people will support you.” PJC

Kathleen Gianni can be reached at

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