This year, students from Boyle County Middle School (BCMS) in Danville, Ky., and Carroll County Middle School (CCMS) in Carrollton, Ky., won the opportunity to visit the Biomedical/Biological Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) on UK's campus and learned more about how the money they raised for Pennies for Patients will help further cancer research.
After a formal introduction by Kathleen O'Connor, researcher and associate director of cancer education for the UK Markey Cancer Center, the students had the opportunity to rotate between presentations by pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. John D'Orazio and biochemist Craig Vander Kooi. Additionally, researchers Tianyan Gao and Garretson Epperly assisted O'Connor in giving the students a tour of Markey's research lab space in the BBSRB.
Pennies for Patients is the annual fundraiser for the School & Youth division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It encourages students to collect spare change during a set three-week time frame early in the year. Funds raised support leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research; patient and community service; public health education; and professional education.
Kentucky schools participating in Pennies for Patients had to raise a minimum of $1,000 before the March 15 deadline to win the chance to attend Meet the Researchers Day. Out of 69 eligible schools across the state, BCMS and CCMS were chosen in a random drawing, raising $1,798.73 and $1,241.66, respectively.
“I am thrilled that we are hosting our second Annual Meet the Researcher Day with the UK Markey Cancer Center," said Shelia Gustafson, School & Youth Campaign Manager of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. "It’s one thing for the students to hear about the importance of raising funds for cancer research when they are in a kickoff assembly. Once they actually see what takes place in a lab, they become empowered to share that significant message with others. Both of these schools did amazing jobs in raising collectively $3,040.39 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and we’re glad we get to reward them with this field trip.”
To learn more about the Pennies for Patients program, visit www.schoolandyouth.org.
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