Two Central High seniors have been selected to campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year.
Lauren Lake and Maddie Robinson are excited to give back to the community and help families battling cancer. The 17-year-olds are on a mission to raise $50,000 during their campaign, which runs through March 11.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society works to find cures for blood cancers and assists patients and families as they battle the disease. There were approximately 172,000 new cases of blood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, diagnosed last year in the United States.
Lymphoma hits close to home for Lauren and Maddie. The Varsity Pep Squad members are dedicating their campaign to former Central High School Varsity Football Coach, Justin Garza.
Garza has been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma since 2011. In 2014, he received a bone marrow transplant which helped extend his life. Sadly, this past December it was announced that his cancer has returned.
Lauren and Maddie call Coach Garza an “awesome guy!” They say he’s made a positive impact on Central High, and they hope to continue his legacy through their campaign.
The girls need the community’s support to reach their fundraising goal. With the help of their moms, they’ve distributed over 500 letters to family, friends, and local businesses asking for donations.
They will be hosting several fundraising events and invite you to help spread the word about their campaign through social media. They’ve set up a Twitter page where you can follow their efforts, and you can visit Lauren’s fundraising site and Maddie’s site to learn more about their quest and to make a donation.
About Lauren and Maddie
Lauren and Maddie are no strangers to getting involved in community events and outreach.
Maddie is Central High’s Senior Class President. She plays piano and plans on pursuing a career in Broadcast Journalism.
Lauren serves as Central’s ASB Spirit Commissioner. She is a competition dancer at Dolce Dance Studio and hopes to one day be an Occupational Therapist.
Both girls attend Northpointe Community Church and are active with organizations that benefit students with special needs.
They say they both find strong value in giving back to the community and are excited to be building a base for future philanthropic endeavors. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Student of the Year program allows teens to get involved in fundraising and awareness activities while earning the chance to win college scholarships. Every candidate who reaches the minimum fundraising requirement of $10,000 will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
My Own Experience with Lymphoma
On a personal note, I am far too familiar with lymphoma. I lost my grandma and grandpa to the disease.
My grandma was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma is 2006. Her cancer went into remission twice, but she ultimately lost her fight in 2012 after developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare side effect from Rituxan, the medicine she took to treat her lymphoma. It was an ugly death and my fabulous and fierce grandma fought hard!
My grandpa died in December 2014, just 25 days after being diagnosed with NK/T-cell lymphoma. We were told this extremely rare and aggressive form of lymphoma doesn’t really exist in the United States, but somehow it found its way to my amazing grandpa, right here in Fresno.
Bottom line: cancer sucks, so any efforts to help find a cure are necessary and welcome to the families who have been affected by this terrible disease.
To help Lauren and Maddie reach their goals, visit their sites linked above. The Student of the Year fundraising campaign ends March 11.