Commitment to Curing Cancer: High School Fundraising Campaign Raises $192,000+ in Seven...

Commitment to Curing Cancer: High School Fundraising Campaign Raises $192,000+ in Seven Weeks For The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Arnav Verma and Anoushka Dave of Team Cut Out Cancer Named 2018 Students of the Year Winners


SAN JOSE, California, March 2, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) second annual Students of the Year campaign exceeded all expectations, with 21 Candidate Teams, comprised of 36 extraordinary high school students, raising over $192,000 to help find cancer cures. Winners of the seven-week competition were announced at the Grand Finale Gala on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Corinthian Grand Ballroom in San Jose, CA. The gala celebrated the accomplishments of local young philanthropists committed to cancer cures and LLS’s supporters.


Team Cut Out Cancer, led by Arnav Verma and Anoushka Dave of University Preparatory Academy, raised over $25,000 and were named the 2018 Students of the Year and received a $1,000 college scholarship. Though the competition has concluded, the team is still eager to raise $50,000 in order to tie their name to an LLS Research Portfolio. The portfolios include a variety of projects that focus on specific blood cancer research, so candidates may choose one that is meaningful to them.

“We’re very proud to have raised so much for an important cause in such a short period of time. We still are pushing ourselves to reach our goal of $50,000 because we know every dollar helps blood cancer patients,” said Arnav Verma and Anoushka Dave of Team Cut Out Cancer “After we researched stories of those affected and learnt about the life-changing consequences of leukemia and lymphoma, we decided that we would make a change. Our passion for helping LLS’ mission to fight against cancer motivated us to put our best into this campaign. We are happy to help LLS in creating a world without blood cancer.”

Participants in fundraising campaigns, like Students of the Year, are helping LLS make an impact on the lives of cancer patients, not someday, but today. LLS is leading the charge in exploring new paths to cures and treatments, with almost 300 cutting-edge research projects underway, many in the promising new areas of immunotherapy and personalized medicine. In addition to finding blood cancer cures, many of the treatments LLS has helped fund are now helping patients with other cancers and chronic diseases.

Team CUREblood, led by Meghana Chintala, Amy Kumar and Tanvir Sandhu of University Preparatory Academy were named First Runner-Up. Second Runner-Up was Team “Wheel” Find a Cure, led by Emilie Erickson of Scotts Valley High School. Emilie also received the Shooting Star Award for being the first Candidate to raise over $10,000.

“Every young, fearless student who participated in this campaign is an inspiration and a role model to future generations. They embody the idea that anyone can make a difference with hard work and dedication,” said Pooja Klebig, Sr. Manager of Special Events of LLS’s Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter. “What the candidates were able to achieve in seven weeks is truly amazing, and will have a tremendous impact on the lives of blood cancer patients and their families.”

The black-tie gala was hosted by Taylor Amarante, In-Stadium Show Host of the San Jose Earthquakes. Speakers included cancer survivor, Ethan Pope, age 10, who is in remission from Very High Risk Acute Lymphomblastic Leukemia, Sienna Pope, age 8, who was a 100% match to be Ethan’s bone marrow donor, and Kate Berardo, Head of Leadership Development at Facebook, who illustrated the importance of the dollars raised for LLS in correspondence to leadership qualities in the workforce.

Corporate Sponsors included Argyle Data, Lexus of Stevens Creeks, Specialty Solid Waste & Recycling, RFI Enterprises, and NetApp. Additional LLS supporters included DJ Nabs, Alan Cash Video, Jessica Williams Photography, Anchor Photography and TapSnap.

LLS Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter recognized and celebrated candidates for their commitment to LLS through “Honor Roll” Awards for Mission, Volunteerism, and Community Involvement. Nicole Gou of St. Francis High School and Zainab Nasir of Lynbrook High School received the Volunteerism Award; Abigail Shamelashvili, Elizabeth White and Jacqueline Beaufore of Homestead High School received the Mission Award; and Christina Vo of Silver Creek High School received the Community Involvement Award. Christina also received the Future Leader Award and a $500 college scholarship for demonstrating strong leadership skills by strategically creating and implementing a successful campaign. Argyle Data was also awarded the 2018 Community Corporate Philanthropy Award.

2018 Students of the Year Candidates

Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter

Visit the candidate’s fundraising pages here.

Team Beat It

Team ProCURE

Abigal Shamelashvili, Homestead High School

Nicole Gou, St. Francis High School

Elizabeth White, Homestead High School

Zainab Nasir, Lynbrook High School

Jacqueline Beaufore, Homestead High School

Team ProHealth

Team Cancer conCUREors

Rosheni Kandaswamy, Silver Creek High School

Alden Gu, Lynbrook High School


Team Can-cer Vive

Silpa Ajjarapu, Monta Vista High School

Christina Vo, Silver Creek High School

Meera Bambroo, Monta Vista High School

Team CUREblood

Team Thrive

Amy Kumar, University Preparatory Academy

Karan Singh Ratra, Moreau Catholic High School

Meghana Chintala, University Preparatory Academy          

Tanvir Sandhu, University Preparatory Academy

Team Together for the Cure

Amelia Gleixner, Notre Dame High School

Team CUREnation

Aditi Rao, Lynbrook High School

Team Tumorators

Thishitha Vaikuntam, Lynbrook High School

Ishani Malipatlolla, Notre Dame High School

Shruthi Shyam, Notre Dame High School

Team CUREosity

Amy Zhang, Monta Vista High School

Team Vikings

Wenyu Chen, Monta Vista High School

Vatsal Gupta, Irvington High School

Team Cut Out Cancer

Team Vitae

Anoushka Dave, University Preparatory Academy

Aayushi Jani, Lynbrook High School

Arnav Verma, University Preparatory Academy

Lauren Ho, Lynbrook High School

Team Fight Strong

Team “Wheel” Find a Cure

Kanika Khemka, Notre Dame High School

Emilie Erickson, Scotts Valley High School

Sanya Shah, Presentation High School

The Impacters

Team Lifeline

Layla Yassin, Granada High School

Aarya Gupta, Homestead High School

Tatum Hayes, Granada High School

Team Love Boat

The Purifiers

Jacob Isaacs, Los Gatos High School

Anoop Dhindsa, Notre Dame High School

Trevor Ross, Los Gatos High School

Harleen Judge, Notre Dame High School

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter

Commitment to Curing Cancer: High School Fundraising Campaign Raises $192,000+ in Seven Weeks For The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society