Students support junior with leukemia through fundraising challenge

Junior Josie Boehm has been nominated to be a candidate for the South Central Austin Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in their 2nd annual Students of the Year fundraising challenge, and she has recruited several students to be a part of her fundraising team. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a non-profit organization whose fundraisers help provide research for blood cancers. LLS offers support for patients, survivors, their families, and helps to advance the science behind other cancers through its research. Unfortunately, there is no early detection for blood cancers, only the search for a cure.

From Jan. 11 to March 2, Josie and her team will be raising funds to help further the mission of LLS: to provide research for blood cancers (Hodgkin’s disease, myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma), offer support for patients and their families, and help to advance the science behind other cancers through LLS’ research.  Each dollar her team raises equals one vote. The team who gathers the most votes wins!

When she was 11 years old, Josie was diagnosed with leukemia but thankfully was in remission after the first two weeks of chemotherapy. She continued with treatments for the following two and a half years, but the chemotherapy was rigorous and took a physical toll on her. After she was first diagnosed, Josie was unable to go outside without a mask on for three months because her immune system was too weak. After those three months she was able to go outside for one month before her intense treatment started again. This intense treatment lasted another month and a half more, followed by a much less intense phase that lasted nearly a year and a half. Josie completed treatment on May 21, 2014, and after about a year her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor identified as glioblastoma. Her mother’s treatment was more intense than Josie’s, and unfortunately she lost her battle on Oct. 21, six months after her diagnosis. Josie’s mother was her primary caretaker while Josie was undergoing treatment, so you can imagine the toll her loss took on Josie as well as everyone who knew her. Because of her support, Josie was able to cope with her cancer while undergoing treatment and now she considers it a thing of the past that does not drastically affect her health anymore. With that said, the primary reason Josie is partaking in this campaign is for her mom. Although glioblastoma is not a blood cancer, blood cancer research is beneficial to all types of cancer. Blood cancer is considered the basis for all other forms of cancer; therefore blood cancer treatments are used as a basis for other forms of cancer. Keeping this in mind, Josie wishes donators to understand that while the money they donate is going to a blood cancer-specific foundation, it will benefit all other types of cancer research, leukemia and glioblastoma included.

Josie and her team have set a goal of $5000 to reach by the end of the seven week campaign. Again, the campaign itself will begin on Jan. 11, 2018 and end with the Grand Finale Celebration on March 2nd where Austin’s winning Student of the Year will be announced. Every dollar donated counts as a “vote” towards Josie’s campaign and the Student with the most “votes” will be named the winner.  

All donations are tax deductible, and you can give by using the enclosed envelope to mail in your donation (please make your check payable to: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and print “Josie Boehm” in the “Memo” section), or make your donation via the website (URL below) before the March 2nd deadline.

   Fundraising Page:


   You can also help raise funds by inviting others to donate, inquiring with your employer about corporate matching programs, and sharing content from the web page above on social media.

Written by Jade Berry

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