An unlikely friendship inspires a fundraising campaign for cancer research

Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 8:27 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On Friday, the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will give out the Students of the Year award to the teenager who raised the most money for cancer research.

Nine teams in the Madison area are competing in the 7-week campaign which ends Friday March 11th at noon. Here are links to all the teams if you want to donate to their campaign:

Artists for Cures

Catch a Cure

Cheering for a Cure

Cory’s Cancer Killers

Cures for Liam!

Curesaders 4 the Cure

Friends For Life!

Panthers for a Cure

Sarah & Sophie Saying No to Cancer

NBC15′s Maria Lisignoli caught up with the team leader of Cheering for a Cure, Morgan Bohrer, to talk about her inspiration for participating in this campaign.

You wouldn’t think a 15-year-old and a 6-year-old would be playmates, but Morgan Bohrer and Dominic Van Someren live in the same building and have bonded over basketball and board games.

“We’re both kind of similar in the way as you know, as he picked up my sarcastic tone,” Bohrer said.

But in the game of life, we’re all dealt different cards. At just 3-years-old, Dominic was dealt a diagnosis no parent ever expects.

“I mean, you never think Oh, my kids you know gonna be going through cancer,” Dominic’s mother Katie Van Someren said.

Treatment for Leukemia in a boy that age would take a little more than three years. The chemotherapy and steroids caused him to lose his hair and quickly gain weight.

“Almost half his body weight in a very short amount of time to the point where he’s not able to move he’s constantly wanting to eat,” Katie Van Someren said.

Morgan saw the twists and turns while going through chemotherapy and wanted to do more to help than just playing.

“It was weird because I’ve been used to him having so much energy and then he was just like, it was hard to watch and it was like hard to like, not have him be excited to do things,” Bohrer said.

After a year and half of treatment, Dominic’s mom got a call from his doctor who said new research showed a third year of chemo was no longer needed.

“So, it was like if this research that they do if I can raise money for whatever they can do to help not have another kid go through that is like That’s incredible. And that’s what I’m trying to do is to not have another kid go through what he went through,” Bohrer said.

That’s why Bohrer jumped at the chance to be a candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Students of the Year campaign and lead a team to raise money for cancer research.

“Research leads to cures research leads to treatments. In the past in last few years, we’ve looked at the FDA approvals and you’ll have 45 approvals and 40 of them are because of the LLS,” Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Campaign Development Manager Jaimie Sherling said.

There are 9 local teams, all lead by teenagers, competing to raise the most funds in just 7 weeks. Sherling highlights the importance of youth involvement in funding cancer research.

“They’re the future really. I know, it’s cliché to say, but it’s true. They’re the ones that the work they’re doing now is going to push the cares that happened because it can take 10 to 15 years sometimes for these actual drugs to hit the market to be approved by the FDA,” Sherling said.

Bohrer said fundraising is a lot of work, but she pushes forward by keeping Dominic in mind.

“Sometimes when I’m like going through like I have to write a lot of emails, or I feel like I’m overwhelmed with stuff. I just have to like re-center myself and realize who I’m doing this for and it’s not for me…. it’s for Dominic it’s for kids that have had cancer or have or getting going through chemo or might get cancer in the future,” Bohrer said.

Copyright 2022 WMTV. All rights reserved.