District News

LMJH collects pennies for a good cause

Posted on: March 15, 2016

It may have only been a little pocket change, but when everyone pitches in, a little becomes a lot!

Classes at Little Miami Junior High Schools waged a friendly competition recently for a good cause, in support of the  Pennies for Patients program for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Student Council sponsored the contest between classes to see which could collect the most pocket change. Pennies counted as “positive” points and were dropped into a student’s own classroom bucket. Silver coins and paper money counted as “negative” points and were dropped in a rival classroom’s bucket to sabotage their point count.

High school students Leah Jordan and Taylor Heatherly talk about their battles with leukemia and lymphoma.

The goal was to raise $2,500 to be used for cancer research. In the end, the students collected more than $2,900.

And along with the fun competition, students got a reminder on just how close to home leukemia or lymphoma can strike. Leah Jordan, junior at Loveland High School and Taylor Heatherly, sophomore at Little Miami High School visited Ellen Mason's Explore classes to share their stories about cancer, promote awareness, and encourage donations.

Leah was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia when she was 9 years old and is now, after seven years of being cancer free, is considered cured. Taylor was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins t-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2014. Although she is cancer free, she is still in treatment which is expected to end on March 24, 2017.

Leah and Taylor shared stories detailing their symptoms, diagnosis, effects of chemo, hospital life, and what it's like to be a young woman with cancer. Both girls agreed that losing their hair was the hardest part about the experience  because it was like losing their identity. 

Taylor shared how before she was diagnosed, she woke up one morning with a huge lump the size of a softball on the side of her neck. She said, "I thought it was the coolest thing. I went around showing all of my friends and telling them to feel it. One of my friends even said jokingly, "What if that's a tumor?" We laughed and didn't think anything more about it. I guess I should have been more concerned." 

Leah shared stories about how she and the friends she made at the hospital played pranks on each other, the nurses, the doctors, and other patients. She also shared her scariest moments, like when she became septic and had to be rushed to the ICU. 

In the Penny Wars contest, the winning homeroom was Ali Fisher's homeroom, which raised $122.52. They will receive a pizza party for their efforts. Kelli Lawson's homeroom had the highest overall bucket total of $352.38. Because the school exceeded its goal, several teachers have to agreed to get a pie in the face, and three male teachers will have their heads shaved on Field Day.