SNHS holds fundraiser for change

The Science National Honor Society (SNHS) at AHS is held its first “Pennies for Patients” program to help people diagnosed with blood and marrow cancer pay for their treatment, as well as to extend research for a cure to the disease.

When asked how the “penny wars” worked, president of the SNHS senior Gina Lee, said, “The more pennies that your class accumulated, the more points that specific class earned. Anything other than a penny took points away from the class, so the objective was to put pennies in your class’s box while placing dimes, nickels, and dollars into other classes’ boxes.” This way, there was a fun competition and much money was gained, which then went forth for a good cause.

“The fundraiser has gained around 300 dollars,” said Lee.

The money that was earned at the end of the program was donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A portion of the money also went to the winning class.

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every four minutes, but the disease can be treated with gene therapy; a process in which the patient’s DNA is modified so that the cancer causing cells are disabled, as well as with immunotherapy and risk-adapted therapy.

During immunotherapy, the patient’s cancer can be treated with antibodies, or immune cells. Risk-adapted therapy, on the other hand, is a developing treatment which will allow for different patients to use medicine adapted to their body in order to fight off the cancer.

Although there are many options to take care of the disorder, treatment for the disease is expensive.

Sophomore Jerusalem Mekonnen said, “If I were diagnosed with blood cancer, I would hate to handle the burden of my medical bills as well as the disease itself, so I think it’s great what the Science Honor Society is doing.”

In addition to the “Pennies for Patients” program, the SNHS held a free movie night on February 19, where people were asked to kindly donate 3 dollars or more to watch My Sister’s Keeper. This movie tells the story of a young girl diagnosed with leukemia; however, it also questions the ethics of modern science.

The SNHS is mainly focusing on leukemia and lymphoma this year because their goal is to do a research-required science project.

“At first, the SNHS was really working with students to clean the environment up, but the Green Atoms is taking care of that,” said treasurer of the SNHS, senior Vivian Chan.

The “penny wars” had begun in mid-February and ended on March 5. The efforts of the SNHS had been hindered because of the snowstorm, which canceled school for a long period of time, forcing the fundraiser to begin much later than anticipated. It was originally planned to begin on February 1 and end February 28.

“We have a certain set guidelines,” said Chan. “Because we started late, we are behind schedule. Other schools that are also doing this project began their campaign much earlier, and therefore earned well into the thousands of dollars. Having lost one week of campaigning, we lost one week of money.”

Although less money has been earned than was anticipated, it is necessary to point out how successful and benevolent the cause was.