Tysons, VA

A quartet of students from James Madison High School in Vienna have enlisted in the fight to find a cure for blood cancers.

Fairfax County Public Schools reported today (Wednesday) that Emery Stratman, Ella Stratman, Ainona Black-Planas, and Matthew Wilken have been accepted as candidates for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2021 Students of the Year campaign.

The LLS Students of the Year campaign is a leadership development program intended to support high school students as they prepare for college or a profession by teaching them skills in entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management.

Participants spend seven weeks working to raise funds for LLS and to increase awareness about blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma.

The students who raise the most funds as either an individual or a team by the end of the seven-week competition will be named Student(s) of the Year.

“Students participating in the Mid-Atlantic Region’s annual scholarship and fundraising challenge have been nominated for their leadership, passion to find a cure for blood cancers, and involvement in the community,” FCPS said.

The 2020 Students of the Year campaign raised over $2.7 million with more than 240 students and 35 teams participating, according to the campaign’s website.

The 2021 campaign will launch on Jan. 23, 2021 with a grand finale on Mar. 13.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested nearly $1.3 billion in blood cancer research. The nonprofit also provides free information and support services to patients and advocates for policies that would remove barriers to healthcare, according to the organization’s website.

According to Yale Medicine, blood cancers are caused by the excessive production of white blood cells in bone marrow. They account for about 10% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. annually, and childhood leukemia makes up about 25% of all cancers in children.

Photo via Google Maps

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