Soph Fundraises for Leukemia Research and Cures


Grace Franklin

Zarah Thomas and her Cancer CUREsaders team hold various fundraisers for Leukemia and Lymphoma research.

Sophomore Zarah Thomas is participating in a Cancer CUREsaders team to fundraise for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) until the end of April. Her 8 person team is hosting benefits and fundraising events to garner support and donations as part of LLS’ Student of the Year Campaign.

According to LLS, the Student of the Year Campaign is a 6 to 8 week initiative in which nominated high school students participate in a fundraising challenge. At the end of the program, the team who raises the most money is named Student of the Year for their local chapter – Thomas’ team is a part of the East Bay region.

She was invited to join the team by a childhood friend, who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 8 years old. “Starting this year, she wanted to do the Student of the Year with LLS…I’ve been helping her with a lot of advertising,” said Thomas.

The team recently held a fundraiser at Extreme Pizza, and is planning an upcoming benefit concert with Las Lomas. Thomas explained that teams compete with 1 another to raise money, facing weekly challenges in which LLS increases or matches the amount of money raised by the winning team.

Her team is focusing primarily on raising money to fund research that will help to find safer and more effective treatments for pediatric patients. “We’re focusing on children because a lot of the medicines that are used for kids are very harsh on their system, and it’s meant for adults in smaller dosages. It causes a lot of side effects. So we want to get money to fund research that will help find more sustainable things for children,” said Thomas.

As an organization, LLS “is at the forefront of the fight to cure cancer,” according to their website, and have invested nearly $1.3 billion in research advancing immunotherapy, genomics, and personalized medicine. They also help cancer patients navigate their treatment, along with advocating to remove barriers to care.

For those interested in supporting Thomas’ Cancer CUREsaders team, there is a fundraising concert at Las Lomas on April 12 and 14, featuring the Las Lomas band and orchestra. In addition, 2 of her teammates are selling crocheted items and jewelry in an Etsy shop. Visit the team’s linktree for more information regarding the Las Lomas Benefit Concerts, Etsy shop, and donations, and follow @cancer_curesaders22 on Instagram.

Thomas added, “No donation is too small because everything counts.”