RHYTHM 2020 Team Fly4acure February 22nd

Morganza, MD - February 7, 2020 - Every three minutes in America, a person is diagnosed with a blood cancer. The most common forms of blood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease.  According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), blood cancers, on average, account for more than 10 percent of all new cancer cases diagnosed each year—and they’re the third leading cancer killer in the country.

In St. Mary’s County, it’s estimated that 500 people are battling a blood cancer. It might not seem like a lot for a county with more than 111,000 residents, but it’s higher than the national average.  LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer research. While there is no way to prevent blood cancers, LLS is dedicated to finding a cure—and it relies on donations to fund research projects.

Rhythm2020 Promo Video from Fly4aCure SoMD on Vimeo.

Each year, LLS hosts a Students of the Year fundraising competition, designed for high school students to compete in raising the most money for LLS. Last year, Students of the Year candidates in Maryland raised $496,000.

Two local students, Neelam Shah and Naggena Ohri have decided to represent Southern Maryland. Both young women have had family and friends touched by blood cancer.  Neelam’s father, Dr. Amish Shah, was diagnosed with B Cell Lymphoma in 2014. As he celebrates being 5 years cancer free, Neelam is thankful for the loving community of Southern Maryland that was so instrumental in his recovery. Neelam and Naggena hope to give back to help others win their battle against cancer. Together, they have put together a team to help their fundraising campaign. Their goal—to raise $200,000 over seven weeks. ($100,000 in personal donations, $100,000 in corporate donations).

Neelam is a student at Calverton School and Naggena attends Leonardtown High School. So far, they have a team of 15 students. As dancers themselves, Neelam and Naggena with the help of their team, have organized Rhythm 2020, a multicultural showcase of talent, where all proceeds will go to LLS. Rhythm 2020 is on Saturday February 22, 2020, from 5:30-8:30PM at Chopticon High School- and is a proud sponsor. Come see amazing performances by students from high school musical and instrumental groups representing Great Mills, Chopticon, and Leonardtown as well as St Mary’s Ryken and The Calverton School.  You will be dazzled by dances from around the world by Ballet Caliente, Gracie’s Guys & Gals and Fusion Dance Academy. 

Neelam and Naggena wanted to make sure to raise awareness for a cause that is so dear to their hearts. Come support them and enjoy a great show!

To learn more about Rhythm 2020, visit Fly4ACure’s website,, and to purchase tickets for Rhythm 2020.

Fact: Leukemia is the most common cancer among kids and teens.

Fact: In the 1960s, the five-year survival rate for childhood Leukemia was just 3 percent. Today, it’s nearly 90 percent.

Fact: Despite the declining deaths connected to childhood Leukemia, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death among people under the age of 20.
Fact: Approximately every nine minutes, someone in the United States dies from a blood cancer.

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