Noah’s Army Raises Thousands for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Katherine Perreth
L-R: Kayley Hellenbrand, 16, Noah Sanger, 6, and Ava Jambor, 15, take a break in front of the Super Noah merchandise table during the fundraising Bowl-a-thon held at Middleton Sport Bowl.

MIDDLETON–The local fundraising campaign called “Noah’s Army,” has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, through the Student of the Year program. The money is slated to fund treatment research for the diseases.

Emily Sanger, mother of six-year-old Noah who was diagnosed a year ago with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, knows the importance of fundraising.

“Research has saved the lives of other kids that we’ve met, and has made Noah’s treatment better,” Sanger stated. “The survival rate now is 90 percent, and before the late 1980s, it was 50 percent.” 

Over $30,000 has been raised in six weeks, according to campaign organizer Ava Jambor, 15, Middleton High School (MHS) sophomore, “And that’s not including today!” 

“Today” was the final fundraising event, a Bowl-a-thon held March 9 at Middleton Sport Bowl. 

In addition to special events and business sponsorship, local restaurant “dine and donate share nights,” sales of Super Noah T-shirts, stickers, and bracelets, and an online campaign that brought in contributions from hundreds of people in 38 states, Jambor noted that MHS has also been supportive. 

Jeff Sanger, Noah’s father, recently spoke with his son at an MHS student assembly. Jambor interviewed the Sunset Ridge kindergartner, lobbing questions such as his favorite color and his favorite thing about school. Noah’s answer, “recess,” brought the house down and may have contributed to their selling over half of their bracelet inventory that day, Jambor said. MHS also held competitions between classes, raising over $1,100. 

Jambor and her team of fundraising warriors by all appearances have had a successful “Noah’s Army” campaign, one in which Jambor has learned much. “I’m more confident in talking about things I believe in, and to go outside my comfort zone.”

Fellow team member and MHS sophomore, Kayley Hellenbrand, 16, concurred, “I’ve learned a lot about networking, reaching out to the community in a unique way, and how to talk people I didn’t know.” She also expressed gratefulness for Jambor’s leadership and being given the opportunity to be part of the fundraising team of about 10 students and adults. “We need more people to step up, like Ava has done.”

Emily Sanger summed up her thanks, “My whole family feels (Jambor) and her team are amazing. We’re so impressed with the work they’ve done.”

The bond Jambor has with Noah was initially forged over their mutual love of hockey, Jambor said. She plays forward, and at the first fundraising event, held at one of her games, they raised about $7,500. 

“Of course, I go to his games and he comes to mine,” Jambor stated. “I feel like this is only the beginning of my journey with Noah; I met him because of this, but it’s just the beginning.”

“This is typically a hard weekend,” Sanger said of her son while he took a break from the Bowl-a-thon. “He’s on steroids now, and it really helps to have something to look forward to, to get through a hard five or six days, during steroid treatment.” 

Sanger said Noah does have one major concern, however, about Jambor’s fundraising efforts ending on March 14. “He’s asking me, ‘After this is done, do we still get to hang out with her?’” 

No doubt about it, if the interaction between Noah and Jambor is anything to go by: “Wanna play garage hockey tomorrow, Ava?”

“Sure!” 

Forward Ava; forward, Noah.

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