Springfield Organizes “Pennies for Patients” to Support Blood Cancer Research

This fund drive partners with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to make a difference

The Springfield campus of Branford Hall is teaming up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to participate in “Pennies for Patients,” a fundraising campaign to help those affected by blood cancer. The campaign began on January 22 and runs through February 16.

This fundraising campaign is happening at schools throughout the state of Massachusetts. Over the course of the three weeks, students collect change and raise funds online while learning about service and philanthropy. The Springfield campus has set a fundraising goal of $2,018, to help LLS support funding for vital research and help patients and their families during the treatment process.

More about LLS

The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, but also to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. How has LLS helped to bring cutting-edge treatments to blood cancer patients? in 1964, the 5-year survival rate was 3% for children diagnosed with the most common form of pediatric leukemia. Today the survival rate is about 90%. Fund drives like this one translate into more children surviving every day.

In 2017, LLS invested more than $40 million in research to advance life-saving research on these diseases. LLS also provides patients, survivors, families, and healthcare professionals with free information, education, and support on blood cancer. At chapters across the U.S. and Canada, LLS reaches out to patients in their communities, helps them navigate treatment, and advocates for survivors.

LLS has a Policy and Advocacy Team that seeks to speed up the development and approval of treatments. Beyond looking for cures, LLS also strives to remove barriers to care, so patients have access to treatments and services they need to live longer, better, and healthier lives.

Get inspired by patient stories

Learn about some of the individuals that have been helped by LLS-funded initiatives and research:

  • Amari is 5 years old and was diagnosed with Precursor B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia in October 2015. This is the most common type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and a particularly aggressive (fast-growing) type of blood cancer, which means there are too many immature white blood cells in his bone marrow and blood. He is now undergoing treatment. Amari loves the Hulk and playing soccer, and during his treatment he earned the nickname “Too Tough”!
  • Austin was diagnosed with a high-risk form of ALL on his third birthday in May 2011. He immediately began chemotherapy, but relapsed in 2012 and required a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, his cancer came back for the third time in May 2013. At age 5, Austin enrolled in a clinical trial for a new immunotherapy treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Today he is 10 years old now and in remission. His treatment, CAR T-cell immunotherapy, has helped dozens of patients with certain types of leukemia and lymphoma remain healthy for up to 5 years after treatment.
  • Ethan was 5 when he was diagnosed with very high risk form of ALL. He underwent countless hospital visits, chemotherapy treatments, aspirations of his bone marrow, rounds of steroids, and blood transfusions. His sister, Sienna, was 3 when he was diagnosed, and she went along with him to most of his hospital visits. After 3 years Ethan relapsed, and it became clear he would need a stem cell transplant. It turned out that Sienna would be a perfect stem cell match for her brother, and she underwent the procedure to harvest her bone marrow in August 2016. Now the two call themselves the “Super Sibs.” Sienna says the day of her surgery was “the best day of my life, because I got to save my big brother’s life.”

The LLS site offers a library of Student Series Videos that might also inspire you to give.

Ways to get involved

Springfield students and staff can get involved right on campus. Here’s how:

  • You may notice that there are collection boxes in classrooms at the school—plenty of opportunities to give!
  • Go through that jar of loose change that you keep at home and bring it in for donating.
  • Bring information about LLS home to friends and family members and invite them to participate.
  • Talk to your fellow classmates as well as staff and instructors on campus about ways to give and how to get other people involved and interested.
  • Stay tuned for announcements on campus about progress towards the school’s fundraising goal.
  • Thank anyone you see contributing to the fund drive, by sharing with them what you know about the “Pennies for Patients” program.

All donations are tax deductible. For more on this initiative, visit the program website or the Springfield campus fundraising page.

The LLS patients and their families thank the students and staff at Branford Hall in advance for their generosity and hard work during the campaign to support an important cause. Happy collecting on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

This article is part of the Branford Hall weekly blog. We’re committed to the personal and professional development of all our students. Find out more about the several professional training programs we offer at ten campuses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Reach out to us for more information today, or call 800-959-7599 and schedule a visit.