Sophia Shulzhenko and Margot Wies, both 10th graders at Pelham Memorial High School, are participating in a seven-week, “Students of the Year” fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) which kicked off on Feb. 7 and ends March 28. Given their success thus far, the pair have been interviewed by a local Westchester TV station and had their campaign picture posted on the Times Square Jumbo-tron.
The girls’ team, “Sophia and Margot’s Survivors,” is the first team to participate from Pelham, and is competing against other high school teams in Westchester and Connecticut.
Their mission – helping the LLS in its efforts to cure various blood cancers. The team seeks to raise $60,000. “It’s a lofty goal, but my teammate and I are willing to work hard to reach it,” Margot noted.
Sophia and Margot are counting on the generosity and caring community of Pelham to help them reach or surpass their $60,000 goal. In addition to individual donations, they are seeking corporate sponsorships and in-kind donations to auction at an end-of-campaign gala on March 28 in Stamford.
Sophia is fundraising in honor of her mother, Karen, and in memory of Karen’s best friend Candice. Karen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when Sophia was two. Fortunately, Karen has been cured and healthy for 13 years now, but as Sophia notes, “many people are not as fortunate as she.”
Candice was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 22 and lost her long and difficult battle at age 45. Sophia points out, “there are far too many stories like Candice’s and not enough like my mother’s. That is why it is crucial for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to find more effective treatments, but it cannot be done without help.”
Margot is fundraising in memory of her cousin, Alan Ostrow, who lost his battle to Myeloid Leukemia. Alan contracted this devastating blood cancer at just 14 years old, and it, “took over the majority of his teenage years,” Margot adds. “His family strove to find proper resources, but there was not enough time or information to help. Alan died at only 20 years old. My team is determined to help make a change.”
To donate, visit: events.lls.org/ctwhv/CTWHVSOY19/ssurvivors