FHS students work to end blood cancer


Photo used with permission of Molly Venus.

2020 Student of the Year candidates pose while at the Kickoff Breakfast on Jan. 31, 2020.

Riley Gearhart, Social Media Editor

 After seven weeks of fundraising and advocating for blood cancer research, several FHS students celebrated their accomplishments through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) with a virtual banquet. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is an organization that focuses on research for blood cancer, patient support and policy and advocacy for people with blood cancer. The Students of the Year campaign allows high school students to get involved in raising money for LLS by reaching out to the community, finding sponsors and hosting events. 

   Each nominated student has a team of fellow students to help them reach their goal and compete against other candidates in the area. At Fishers High School, senior Kylie Terpening and senior Graci Calloway each had a team, and seniors Reagan Frank and Olivia Latimer and junior John Latimer joined to form a team.

   Senior Molly Venus was on the leadership board this year after competing in the Students of the Year campaign last year and raising over $12,000. After raising money last year, Venus said that she was proud of the impact that she helped make for people with blood cancer.

   “I don’t think that I’ve ever raised that much money in my life,” Venus said. “It was a really big shock for me to see what I was able to do.”

   As part of her responsibilities of being on the leadership, Venus had to plan virtual events, mentor the candidates for the Student of the Year campaign, and nominate people to lead a team. Venus nominated both Terpening and Calloway, and Calloway said that she was excited to be a part of something bigger than herself.

   “My goal in life is to make history and change the world,” Calloway said. “LLS allowed me to be a part of something I would have never thought of before.”

   Venus was first inspired to join the campaign when her great aunt passed away from multiple myeloma. She wanted to make a difference however she could for people with blood cancer, and she loved getting to see how she could change people’s lives first hand.

   “Every year, Students of the Year has an honored hero, and last year it was a little boy, and he got to take his last dose of chemo that was funded by LLS,” Venus said. “We really got to see the positive impact that the fundraising made in his life.”

   Calloway has also enjoyed being part of something bigger than herself and seeing how her fundraising can change others lives. Her and Venus both hope that more people in Fishers will become involved in donating and raising money for LLS.

   “I think it is important for others to learn about because it is something bigger than yourself,” Calloway said. “You realize how lucky you are just to be here.”

   The campaign for the 2021 season ended Sat., March 13, and the 19 teams in the central Indiana region raised a combined $543,604.