When you're a student at the alternative high school Blackburn you might feel like you've got a mark against you. Maybe it's a little harder to shine brighter, but Blackburn students were beaming Thursday over their fundraising effort to fight cancer.
Students were excited as they presented a big check to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It happened more than a year after the school's social worker Lakeisha Bonam lost her 9-year-old daughter Jordan to cancer. “My house is very different now. We're living in a new normal and we're just trying to get to that place where we're able to not be overwhelmed with so much sadness."
Two-and-a-half weeks ago the school, along with the rest of the district, began a Pennies For Patients fundraising drive. The idea of the campaign was for kids to take boxes and put pennies inside, but it turned out students were bringing in more than just pocket change.
Some of the students have experienced their own losses and many, with Jordan in mind, wanted to help. "When you think about it and someone lost their child to this and especially at such a young age, it makes you open your eyes more, it makes you want to raise even more money,” said Blackburn junior Breck Beck.
In the short time, around 160 students at Blackburn, with a goal of $500, raised more than $1,200, more than any other school in the district. They hope it can make a difference. “I hope that the cancer patients can get past this and go over the process that they're going through and be able to smile,” said Blackburn senior Jameice Horne.
Bonam was blown away by so many students who donated in memory of Jordan. "I can't explain it, it's just good to know that we know that all of these kids have good in them and to know that what they did comes from such a good place, it's endearing." Keeping Jordan's memory alive and helping others.
Funds raised for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will go toward patient aid, support groups in Nebraska and cancer research.