Two Kansas teens using March Madness theme to raise money for blood cancer research

Two Kansas HS students to raise money for blood cancer research

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Two Kansas high school students are trying to raise money for blood cancer research and will use March Madness -- and a cow -- as models, WDAF-TV reported.

Caleb Kmiecik and Brent Smith, of Shawnee, set a goal of $75,000 and have raised $6,000 so far, the television station reported. Donations will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

“We’re making progress. But it’s definitely, it’s not easy," Kmiecik told WDAF. “It’s been frustrating at times. But I’m optimistic.”

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The teens are competing against other “teams” in the Kansas City area.

Here is how their March Madness theme works, in conjunction with a “Dung Drop,” The Kansas City Star reported. A grid of 100 squares will be marked and numbered and placed on the ground at an area arena, WDAF reported. People will donate money to choose a square, much like a Super Bowl or March Madness pool.

On March 28, a cow will be released and will walk over the squares. Whichever square the cow “covers” first will be the winner, the television station reported.

The winner will receive a $1,000 grand prize, according to WDAF.

Other prizes include a signed basketball from the Kansas University men’s basketball team, 10 tickets to the College World Series, and four tickets to a Kansas City Royals game, the television station reported.

“I’m really blessed that (Kmiecik) chose me because the more I learned about this cause, the more I met people that are affected by cause, the more I saw this is an extremely good thing to do,” Smith said.

On the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website, Kmiecik said he was inspired to raise money because of a family friend who had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2013. Emily Dumlar beat the disease, thanks to a clinical trial funded by the Leukemia & Lymphona Society.

“It’s really powerful for me because I’ve known Emily for a while,” Kmiecik told WDAF. said. “She’s super close with my mom. So, I don’t think she’d be here today without LLS.”

To donate or sign up for the teens’ fundraiser, click here.

Two Kansas teens have come up with a unique way to raise money for blood cancer research.
Two Kansas teens have come up with a unique way to raise money for blood cancer research. (Free-Photos/Pixabay)