2 Fresno high school students on mission to raise $50,000 in battle against cancer

Every dollar raised goes toward patient treatment and cancer research.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two Central Unified students are taking action to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) - but they need your help.

Gaby Gutierrez and Perrin Haynes are the first students from Justin Garza High School to be nominated for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's student of the year.

It's a seven-week fundraising campaign led by students to raise money to support LLS.

For these girls, it's in honor of the school's namesake, Justin Garza.

The Central Unified sophomores are trying to raise $50,000.

"That $50,000 would help us link a research grant in the name of Justin Garza, so we wanted to reach that goal because of him," said Haynes.

They're on a mission in honor of the beloved Central Unified coach who lost his battle to cancer in 2017.

"Throughout his journey, he created a bone marrow drive called Stand For More, which is the inspiration behind our team name," said Gutierrez.

The girls were nominated by their teacher and are some of the youngest students in the campaign.

"Usually juniors and seniors participate but this year being we're both sophomores, we're the youngest competing," said Haynes.

Said activities director Ashley Schoolfield:
"They're sophomores stepping into that senior role. They're the first graduating class so for them to step in to those shoes, that's phenomenal."

Over the past six weeks they've hit the ground running, teaming up with local businesses and hosting events to raise support for the cause.

A lot of people are proud of us and thrilled that we're a part of something like this, especially since we're the first students at Garza High School doing this," said Gutierrez.

Every dollar raised goes toward patient treatment and cancer research.

While they still haven't reached that goal, they're not giving up.

"For them to step in and say, 'Hey we want to take this to the next level and continue that legacy of standing for more', it pulls at the heart strings," said Schoolfield.

You have until Friday to donate. Here's the link to donate.

If you can't make a monetary donation, they're also encouraging the community to consider donating bone marrow or blood at the Central California Blood Center.

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