Tell cancer to 'go fly a kite'

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County
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Hollywood, MD- The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the leading researcher of blood cancers, including myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease. While LLS focuses on finding cures for blood cancers, the research conducted contributes to the treatment of all cancers.

To date, LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research for therapies and treatments for blood cancers. Thanks to that research, the survival rates for many blood cancers has quadrupled since the 1960s.

Even with that advancement, every three minutes in America, a person is diagnosed with a blood cancer and that accounts for more than 10 percent of all new cancer cases diagnosed each year. Blood cancers remain 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.

Each year, LLS hosts a Student 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 $267,000.

Samir and Saar Shah, who are cousins, have worked with LLS for years and now they’re working to raise more money for research and are the first students from Southern Maryland to compete in the competition.

They’re aiming to raise $200,000 over seven weeks. ($100,000 in personal donations, $100,000 in corporate donations). Their fundraising efforts will culminate with the first annual Fly4ACure Kite Festival at St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds.

The kite festival is Saturday, March 17 beginning at noon. Admission is $10; children four and under are free. The first 500 entries will also receive a free kite—and is a proud sponsor.

In additional to kite flying fun, there will be a recognition ceremony for those in the Southern Maryland community who have been touched by blood cancers. You’ll also find food, entertainment, music and a special appearance Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Calvert County native, Robert McClain.

To learn more about the kite festival, visit Fly4ACure’s website

Visit Fly4ACure's Facebook page and Facebook event.

Contact Joy Shrum at

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