O’Connor Student Among Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student Visionaries of the Year Winners

Helotes, TX (April 11, 2024) – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)’s Student Visionaries of the Year philanthropic competition brings together thousands of high school students across the country from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are extraordinarily driven to reach their own personal best and, ultimately, help LLS fight blood cancer, a disease that is diagnosed every 180 seconds in the U.S. and has no current means of prevention.

Today, LLS’s South Texas Region announces the Student Visionary of the Year winner, Francesca Bustamante, (18) of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, TX, and our Runner-up winner, Reese Sweatman, 15, of Reagan High School in San Antonio, TX.

Francesca raised a grand total of $140,539 and received a national impact award for raising over $100,000. Francesca ran in honor of her grandmother and her 6-year-old cousin, who was diagnosed with Leukemia right at the end of her campaign. Runner up, Reese Sweatman, ran in memory of her grandfather, who passed away in October from multiple cancers, including Leukemia.

Student Visionaries of the Year is a groundbreaking leadership development program for high school students that has helped LLS invest more than $1.7 billion in cutting-edge research worldwide, fueling nearly every critical advancement in blood cancer treatment that spans the most promising cancer research. And, as the leading source of free blood cancer information, education, and support, LLS helps blood cancer patients and their families through a wide range of free services.

Each candidate team chose an LLS Mission Pillar to represent and bring awareness to throughout their seven-week campaign. These three pillars, Research, Patient Support, and Advocacy, make up the very core of what LLS does. A total of 26 teams from South Texas raised $659,446. The two participating teams from O’Connor were:

Team Speak Now for a Cure- Chloe Guitron
Team Lauren and Adyson- Lauren Relic and Adyson Casias

Team Lauren and Adyson – Lauren Relic and Adyson Casias. Source: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society | South Central Texas | San Antonio/RGV

The 2024 Mission Award recipients are:

  • Research Award: Alexander and Kyra Yiannos, Reagan High School
  • Patient Support Award: Josecarlos Martinez, Central Catholic High School and Max Everitt, Antonian Preparatory High School
  • Advocacy Award: Chloe Guitron, Sandra Day O’Connor High School

“Congratulations to Francesca, Reese, and our Mission Pillar winners, and all the dedicated candidates, supporters, and volunteers who helped to make Student Visionaries of the Year an incredible success this year!” said Clarissa Flores, LLS’s South Central Texas Executive Director.

For more information or to get involved, visit llsstudentvisionaries.org and follow on social media, @LLSsouthcentraltexas and @LLSusa, #LLSVisionaries. If you know a high-school student to nominate please email Caitlin.Cote@lls.org and Monica.Riojas@lls.org.

Blood cancer patients and their families should contact the LLS Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., ET.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the global leader in the fight against blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has regions throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

LLS is the only organization featured in the nonprofit category on the 2023 Best Workplaces for Innovators list and has earned four stars on Charity Navigator. LLS stands out among brands around the world for its relevancy, cultural impact, ingenuity, and mission impact.

For additional information, visit lls.org/lls-newsnetwork. Follow us on Facebook, X,
and Instagram.

Editor’s Note: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society provided additional information requested by Helotes News to expand on the O’Connor students participation. The original Press Release is minimally edited to reflect this information.

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