Vipers help find a cure for blood cancers

The Bloodbenders are a group of Vandegrift High School students who are part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year program — a philanthropic competition helping raise money in the fight against blood cancer. 

The Viper team has raised $6,795 of its $10,000 goal to help get one step closer to finding a cure for blood cancers.

“This initiative is important to us because it is a way to make a difference in people’s lives and help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in its mission of fighting blood cancer and bringing awareness to the cause,” said Arina Shah. “Our team is striving to help people in their battles against blood cancer because many of our team members have been or know people who have been personally affected by cancer.”

People are able to donate to this campaign until March 24 through its fundraising page  

“Our mission is to not only raise the most money but also to bring attention to blood cancers like leukemia, which is the most common form of cancer in children and teens,” according to Nihal Kyassa, co-leader of the VHS group. 

Since the early 1960s, five-year survival rates for many blood cancer patients have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled. Many LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients but are helping patients with other cancers and serious diseases. In fact, drugs first approved for blood cancers are now approved to treat patients with stomach cancers, skin cancers, and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis,  according to research.

“I joined the team hoping to help as many people as possible,” said Cole Krant, Vandegrift senior. “Having seen the struggle endured by cancer patients, I can only hope that our team can help to make that struggle just a bit easier.”