The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s South Central Texas Region – San Antonio Announces 2022 Students of the Year Winners

Congratulations, Team Lance & Parker

San Antonio, Texas – (March 5, 2022) The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)’s Students of the Year fundraising campaign brings together thousands of students across the country from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are extraordinarily driven to reach their own personal fundraising best and, ultimately, help LLS fight blood cancer, a disease that is diagnosed every 180 seconds in the U.S. The LLS’s South Central Texas Region announced the 2022 local “Students of the Year” winners, Lance Beeghley, (16), of New Braunfels High School in New Braunfels, Texas, and Parker Joseph, (16), of New Braunfels Christian Academy in New Braunfels, Texas, who raised the most funds across the San Antonio Market, raising nearly $84,000.


Team Lance & Parker will have the opportunity to name an LLS research grant in honor of whomever they choose. 


Runner Up Winners, Chloe Navarro, (16) and Patrick Thornton (16), of Boerne V. Champion High School in Boerne, Texas led a legacy team of 25 + team members.


Students of the Year is a seven-week philanthropic leadership development program during which students foster professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management in order to raise funds for LLS. Top local fundraisers become eligible to win the national title. The students raise money in honor of a local patient hero who is currently battling or is in remission from a blood cancer.


The funds raised through Students of the Year are used for:


  • Research to advance lifesaving therapies like immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine, which are saving lives today.
  • Free blood cancer information, education and support for patients and families.
  • National and local advocacy efforts driving policies that accelerate new treatments and ensure patients have access to care so that they can live longer, healthier lives.



Meet Our Honored Hero- Madison!

In early 2020, I noticed a strange lump on my neck. I didn’t think anything about it because for several months the lump didn’t hurt.  But right about the time that we all had to quarantine because of Covid, that lump in my neck started to hurt. So I went to the doctor to get it checked and that’s when my whole world stopped.  I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on April 23, 2020.

That day will forever be burned in my brain. I remember being in total shock when I heard the diagnosis. You always hear about cancer, but you never think it could happen to you.

I remember being confused and scared and just kept thinking “Why me?”  From that day my life changed. I underwent 4 cycles of chemotherapy and 14 days of radiation consisting of countless days in and out of the hospital. I had allergic reactions to a few of my chemotherapies. They caused me to stop breathing, at least once every cycle which was really scary. I hated chemo days!   I would get excruciating leg pain.  I couldn’t walk or sleep and I always felt yucky and sick. I was swollen and bloated, and then my hair started falling out in clumps on my bathroom floor. I remember the day I had to cut all my hair off. It was probably the day I cried the most.

I had a few friends that were there for me throughout treatment, but not a lot of them. This added emotional struggle on top of the physical struggle I was facing. Most of my friends never really texted, called, or came to visit. I spent a lot of days very upset and feeling sick. I couldn’t see many people because of Covid-19 so I felt even more isolated. Everyone always said to “stay positive”, but I wasn’t very good at it. My family was always super supportive of me and was always there to comfort me throughout my journey. Our faith also grew a lot throughout those few months. But it wasn’t until about halfway through treatment, when I got the good news that my chemo was working, that my mindset started to change. Now I had hope and I was in a much better mood.

After many miserable months of treatment, I am happy to say that today, I am in remission!  On Sept 10th, I celebrated my one year cancer free milestone, and I look forward to celebrating many more. Those tough days shaped me into who I am today.  Today, I’m the type of person who doesn’t sweat the small things, and I never take a day for granted. Our life on this earth is beautiful but short! I make sure to live every day like it’s my last. I always tried to continue doing what I loved. I am a competitive cheerleader, and to this day I have continued to cheer! I want to be an inspiration to others to not give up on what you love, no matter the obstacles.

I am honored to be the 2022 North Florida Honored Hero this year and am so thankful for the opportunity to share my story because we need more research for more treatment options and especially less toxic ones. That’s why I decided to participate and fundraise for Light the Night last year. By using Facebook and other events, I am excited to say, I was able to raise $69,151 for LLS to date!

I must live with a lifetime of scans due to long term effects from the treatments that helped save my life. We need to do better. No one should have to go through this.