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Lehi students combine talents to raise funds for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society



The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a nonprofit organization that aims to cure blood cancer. It works closely with cancer institutions and research centers worldwide to fund research and support blood cancer patients and their families to improve their quality of life. 

One program the LLS organizes is the Student Visionaries of the Year campaign, which provides students a chance to step into a leadership role and raise funds in the fight against blood cancer. Brinkley Westwood, a senior at Lehi High School and former certified nursing assistant (CNA), is a leader in this year’s Student Visionaries campaign.

Westwood took an interest in the program because she’s had experiences close to home with cancer, including having worked as a CNA at a rehab facility with cancer patients and seeing some family members go through cancer.

Students form campaign groups each year and raise funds for a local blood cancer survivor. They recruit team members to help with fundraising efforts and begin working closely with a staff member from LLS to raise funds over seven weeks. This year’s campaign started on Jan. 25 and will run through March 16. About eight teams throughout Utah are competing throughout this period to raise the greatest amount of money for LLS, and the candidates from the team that raises the most money will become the Student Visionaries of the Year.

Westwood is the LHS HOSA club president, a student club for future healthcare professionals. Dan Rice, the club advisor, shared information about the campaign with HOSA club members, and Westwood jumped at the opportunity. She and her co-leader, Hannah Dajany, formed a team of nine and have an ambitious fundraising goal for the campaign. 

“Working at the rehab facility, I saw the physical impacts of cancer and the treatment. Of course, many people didn’t get through that treatment, which was heartbreaking. I saw the impact it had on the patients and their families, their social life, and their mental, emotional, and spiritual health,” said Westwood. 

“I’ve also had a lot of family members who’ve had cancer throughout the years, including my mom, so I feel like I have a very wide perspective of how cancer impacts people. Knowing how much it can affect somebody is why I was interested in this. I wanted to make a difference in preventing cancer and helping people get through it.”


The Student Visionaries campaign is based on three pillars: patient advocacy, research for a cure, and patient support. The fundraising campaign supports these pillars by emphasizing leadership skills and requiring students to step outside their comfort zones. 

“I have been pushed to reach out to people I never thought I would interact with. I’ve cold-called lawyers, politicians, doctors–people who, if I’d seen them in a room, I would be terrified to look at them, let alone talk to them,” Westwood said. This program has really helped me to be more comfortable outside of my comfort zone and helped me develop leadership skills through managing my team, getting myself out there, and planning ahead.”

For more information about the LLS Student Visionaries of the Year campaign, visit To donate directly to Brinkley Westwood and Hannah Dajany’s team, visit

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