Student Visionaries of the Year Silicon Valley

TeamCombatting CancerCollectively | Combating Cancer Collectively

TeamCombatting's Student Visionaries of the Year Fundraiser

Mar 18, 2024

UPDATE 3/18/24:  Thank you to everyone who came out to support our team on Sunday March 17 at Paly High School Track! There were over 50 people in attendance and we were able to max out the matching funds too. 

If you want to donate, the campaign continues through Friday 3/22/24 so please visit our individual pages: 

Alec Bonnard

Oliver Chancellor

Sam Lilly 

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Thank you for visiting our Team's page and joining us for our Fun Run/Walk on Sunday March 17, 2024 at 11 am at Palo Alto High School Track to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

ALL DONATIONS UP TO $50 will be TRIPLED and ALL DONATIONS above $50 (up to a total of $2500) WILL BE DOUBLED. No donation is too small. 

Our team is lead by 3 student visionaries from Paly: Sam Lilly, Alec Bonnard, and Oliver Chancellor.

We have been working very hard for 5 weeks to raise both money and awareness of the impact a blood cancer diagnosis has on both the patient and his/her/their family. Only 2 more weeks to go in this campaign!  Thank you for joining our efforts to rid the world of blood cancers.

Why did Sam choose to be a student visionary?

"The day I got diagnosed, 6/28/22, I woke up to see my pillowcase covered in blood. Quite a start to the morning. However, it didn’t bother me much. I was 16 years old, and as most 16-year-olds are, functionally invincible. I went about my morning routine, showered, ate breakfast, and drove to pick up my best friend, Alec, for our scheduled workout. As I worked out, I could tell something was wrong. I was doing a relatively easy workout, but I just couldn’t finish it. Frustrated, I wiped the sweat off my face. Only then did I realize it was more blood. Even at this point I was convinced nothing was wrong. I called my mom, then the advice nurse, and we eventually ended up in the ER. Later that night, I was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. What was supposed to be a short trip to the ER quickly turned into a three-year treatment process.

My 3 year treatment/clinical trial got changed in December 2022 to a stem cell transplant which happened on March 29, 2023. From June 2022 through December 2023, I was unable to attend school in person and went through many months of being routinely immunocompromised. 

I am healthy now and am very glad to be able to give back as I know first hand what a blood cancer diagnosis can do to a person and his/her/their family. I'm grateful that my family and friends were able to be by my side throughout and that I live 5 minutes away from a world class hospital, Lucille Packard Children's.  Many families are not as fortunate so I want to raise money and awareness so that more families can get the support and resources they need, and that more research can be done to develop safer medicines, clinical trials, and support for survivors.

Why did Alec choose to be a student visionary?

"I met Sam on my high school soccer team, and within half a year of knowing him, had stayed with him on my trip to a soccer tournament across the country. My journey combating cancer didn't start when I was diagnosed with cancer, but when my best friend, Sam Lilly was. It was an ordinary day in the middle of the summer when after having gone to the gym and Goodwill, red patches, that I joked looked like Japan's flag on Sam's bandaid, started showing up. We thought nothing of it, but shortly after I got a call from Sam telling me that he had been diagnosed with Leukemia.

All I could do was keep him company and look for gifts I could get him that could maybe lift his morale. It was disheartening seeing him exhausted from the medications and operations he was undergoing, but I tried my best to act like nothing was going on when I was around him. Fast forward a little over a year, multiple changes in his treatment plan, thousands of hours of hard work put in by Sam to overcome this strenuous challenge, and a stem cell transplant, and Sam was finally beating Cancer. Of course, he still couldn't go out into the sun because of the "side effects" of the cancer treatments and stem cell transplant; he still had to wear a mask around always, and had plenty of other recovery challenges to face, but we could now start our second step in combating cancer.

Why did Oliver choose to be a student visionary?  

"Every single one of my grandparents have had cancer and I recently lost my Danish grandfather to cancer, my mom’s best high school friend battled cancer while we lived in Copenhagen a few years ago and I remember how my mom picked her up after every chemo treatment and walked her home and how worried and sad she was for her, and my paternal aunt Stephanie died from lymphoblastic lymphoma when she was just 22 years old. To think of losing my brother, who’s quite close in age to Stephanie when she passed away, is simply unfathomable. Even though I never got to meet Stephanie, I often look at pictures of her and think about what our relationship would have been like. The stories that I have been told and the look on my family’s face whenever she is mentioned tell me that she was a truly wonderful woman who I would have deeply admired. In a strange way I find myself missing her even though I never met her. It saddens me to imagine how devastated my dad, uncle, grandparents and anyone else who had the pleasure of knowing her must have been and still are because of her passing. 2 years ago, one of my best friend’s (Alec Bonnard’s) best friend (Sam Lilly), a fellow Paly student, was suddenly diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, he was just 16 years old. I didn’t know him very well at the time, but through Alec have gotten to know him as well as seeing a glimpse into what Sam’s cancer journey has been like. Sam’s courage and emotional strength through it all and Alec’s support of his friend have both taught me humbling and inspirational lessons."

We hope you will join us on Sunday March 17, 2024 at Palo Alto High School's Track at 11 am and invite your friends and family too.  There will be prizes for different categories of fund-raising participation too!  Please consider joining this fight by making a donation. All donations are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible.

As a global leader in the fight against blood cancer, LLS:

  • Funds cutting-edge research leading to breakthroughs in immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine that are improving and saving the lives of patients
  • Provides free education and support for blood cancer patients and families, including personalized, one-on-one support, assistance with identifying and enrolling in clinical trials, and more.
  • Mobilizes thousands of advocates to drive policy changes that accelerate the development of new cancer treatments and break down barriers to care.

 

Thanks to your support, our efforts will help ensure this generation is the last to see cancer.

On behalf of blood cancer patients everywhere, thank you!

 

For more information about LLS, please visit www.lls.org.

 

 

12 Comments

  • Adriana Eberle

    Good luck on Sunday!

  • Poonam Thadani

    So proud of Oliver Chancellor and his friends.

  • Isabella Cook

    TEAM SAM!

  • Zachary Cook

    TEAM SAM

  • Paige Cook

    TEAM SAM

  • Viva Rocks, inc / THE KEVA DINE AGENCY

    Sam!!! Xo the dine family Keva tim Desmond Rocco

  • Minji Enemark

    Go Oliver! Thank you for being such a humanitarian and bright spot in our lives.

  • Rachel Cleary

    PALY running fubdraiser

  • Cynthia Tham

    Great job

  • AL Winther

    Well done boys!

  • Loree Draude

    Both of my parents have fought cancer. Thank you for your efforts to raise money and beat this horrible disease.

  • Kathy Howe

    Go Team Combatting Cancer!

Contact us by email or call 888.LLS.7177.