Meet the 2018 Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year, Alexandra Hayes, better known as Ali to those who have come to know and adore her. Ali is the daughter of Christal Mills, Special Projects Administrator for the Division of Hospital Medicine.
Five years ago at the age of 16, Ali’s life changed forever when she was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). She immediately began aggressive chemotherapy treatments. After being hospitalized for 97 days, she achieved remission where she thankfully remains today.
The day after her admission she met Glenn Markway, a 21 year old college student who received the same diagnosis of AML. Glenn and Ali endured the same treatments, yet Glenn relapsed and immediately underwent a stem cell transplant. Sadly, Glenn passed away on August 1, 2015, just two years after their initial diagnosis.
The Leukemia Lymphoma Society is doing its part in this search for a cure by funding promising research and helping patients and families through financial aid, education, and support groups. This is an organization that not only raises money for LLS but honors the memory of lives like Glenn.
In January, Glenn’s mother, Carol Markway, nominated Ali to carry on the 2018 Student of the Year fundraising mission for LLS. Ali gladly accepted the challenge and committed to working with others to fight for a cure. Every dollar Ali raised was not only a vote for her but a vote to cure cancer. She had 7 weeks to reach her goal of $20,000.
The Division of Hospital Medicine immediately rallied with Ali. They raised a total of $7,000. With the contributions made from the division and with Ali’s other fundraising efforts, not only did she reach her personal goal but surpassed it with a grand total of $30,038!
Keep a lookout for Ali as you drive along the highways of St. Louis. The Leukemia Lymphoma Society is displaying her amazing accomplishment on her very own billboard!