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Students of ‘Team Shine’ raise funds for childhood blood cancers

Pioneer+junior+Ari+Mabry+had+Leukemia+as+a+child+and+now+seeks+to+help+others+with+the+same+disease.
Pioneer junior Ari Mabry had Leukemia as a child and now seeks to help others with the same disease.

Pioneer junior Ari Mabry had Leukemia as a child and now seeks to help others with the same disease.

Photo courtesy of Ari Mabry

Photo courtesy of Ari Mabry

Pioneer junior Ari Mabry had Leukemia as a child and now seeks to help others with the same disease.

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It is no secret that Pioneer produces some truly wonderful students, but a group of students, led by junior Ari Mabry, are making a true difference in our community.  They have started a fundraising campaign to fight blood cancers through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The LLS mission is to fund research to find a cure for blood cancer patients and “ensure access to treatments.”  Mabry and his friends, Team Shine, have undoubtedly embarked on a noble journey and need their fellow Pioneers to participate in the campaign.  

Mabry knows a thing or two about blood cancer. He was inspired to start Team Shine because of an early childhood illness that changed the course of his life.  “I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was about four and a half,” he said.  “Basically, from 1st grade till 4th I had to go through treatment, and I missed a lot of the early childhood experiences most kids have.”  

Mabry entered remission, but the chemotherapy may have caused permanent damage he is yet to experience.  “The treatment itself was really intense and terrible,” Mabry said. “The treatment was outdated and destroyed cells, so I’m at a higher risk for osteoporosis and secondary cancers.”

Clearly, Mabry’s story has motivated his classmates to join Team Shine.  Junior Pranav Suresh says, “We are supporting a great cause. This money really helps and anyone can be involved.”  

 Fellow Pioneer junior Lizzie Williams says she found out about Team Shine’s mission on their Instagram page, @team_shine_ari.  “I saw it on Ari’s Instagram and I was like ‘I can’t not join this,’” she said. According to Williams, Team Shine has had a few meeting so far and the group is organizing their campaign.  On their site, Team Shine has four events planned for February, ranging from a fundraising dinner at Mongolian BBQ to a teen talent night at Sweetwater Cafe.  Team Shine’s campaign is now in full effect and they need their fellow Pioneers to aid their worthy cause.

Team Shine’s goal is to raise $84,000.  The money will help pay for the expensive treatments for Leukemia patients.   “My mom said my treatment would have cost more than a million dollars if we didn’t have insurance,”  Mabry said. The cost of treatment is overwhelming for many families, especially families with young children.  Students can find more information about Team Shine and their campaign on www.teamshinells.com.

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