This year, three Cranston West students, Jordan Simpson, Emma Hanley and Ava Santamaria, created the team "e;Team Bad to the Bone Marrow"e; to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, joining up with 13 Rhode Island high school teams to raise a
This year, three Cranston West students, Jordan Simpson, Emma Hanley and Ava Santamaria, created the team “Team Bad to the Bone Marrow” to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, joining up with 13 Rhode Island high school teams to raise a total of $111,000.
The three West students were recently announced as the winners for the state during the LLS Virtual Grand Finale for Students of the Year and were celebrated for having raised a total of $32,000 through a series of fundraisers and events.
The team was featured early on in the contest in a January edition of the Cranston Herald as they talked about their personal connections to the cause.
At that time, the article stated, “For Emma, having lost grandparents to cancer, her participation in the campaign is quite personal. And for Jordan, whose aunt was diagnosed after she began working on the Students of the Year campaign, her participation has taken on extra meaning as well.”
At the same time, they spoke of the inspiration and motivation they received from Johnston High School student and LLS survivor Caitlyn Zinni.
“The members of Team Bad to the Bone Marrow explained they have drawn strength and motivation from meeting their LLS Honored Hero, 16-year-old leukemia survivor and Johnston resident Caitlynn Zinni. Now in remission for 11 years, she is a junior at Johnston High School,” the article said.
The team was able to succeed despite the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic which began to affect Rhode Island early in March and they continued with a strong push through the end of the competition on March 13-coincidentally the same day that schools across Rhode Island shut down and transitioned to distance learning through the end of the school year, showing unusual perseverance and drive through difficult times. They were recently at City Hall on June 19 by Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Cranston School Committee members Vincent Turchetta and Michael Traficante.