‘Hometown Showdown’ to benefit cancer research


HOOVER – Students at Spain Park High School are committed to funding blood cancer research and providing help and hope to thousands of patients and their families through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student Series donation drive.

In the past two years, Spain Park High School students and teachers have rallied together around the mission of finding a cure, raising more than $2,200 in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and local patient services.

This year, Spain Park students and teachers feel empowered to do more and have committed to hitting their goal of $10,000.

Teachers and administration have stepped up to the plate and are eager to drive donations at this year’s “Hometown Showdown,” the annual basketball game between archrivals Spain Park and Hoover High School on Friday, Feb. 3.

At the event, students and parents will be encouraged to purchase a T-shirt to show their support and participate in the half-court shot competition after the game. Proceeds raised during this event will be donated directly to the local chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Spain Park students and teachers are committed to doing even more than funding a cure for blood cancers like childhood leukemia. Students and teachers are rallying behind one of their very own students who has battled blood cancer: Naomi Pitts.

Pitts is a senior at Spain Park High School and currently serving as an Honorary Ambassador for the organization.

At the age of 12 just prior to entering the seventh grade, Pitts was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. She went through a year of chemotherapy at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham.

This proved to be very difficult as she did not react well to the treatment. Additionally, the diagnosis was a lot to deal with emotionally for her. But as time passed, her health dramatically improved.

“Having cancer is tough, and it changed me to make me the person that I am today,” Pitts said. “Thanks to the help of my family, doctors and God, I am able to be here today, happy and healthy as ever.”

“Thanks to research, nearly 90 percent of children with acute leukemia are now cured,” said Maggie Rountree, campaign manager of LLS’s Alabama/Gulf Coast Chapter based in Birmingham. “But there still is a long way to go. Leukemia affects more children than any other cancer, so LLS’s Student Series donation drive provides a meaningful way for kids to help kids. Every dollar really does make a difference.”

The LLS Student Series donation drive is designed to teach children how to set and reach goals, and the value of community involvement. Students will spend one to three weeks during the 2016-2017 school year on programs they designed to raise funds to help bring about a world without blood cancers.

Those interested can register for LLS’s Student Series donation drive at StudentSeries.org. Teachers, parents and school administrators can call Rountree at 460-4932 for more information.

Visit LLS.org for more information about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.