Classmates' cancer spurs AHS students to act

Two Ashland High School sophomores are working to raise awareness and funding for bone marrow transplant patients with the help of Be The Match Foundation and the Ashland High School Theater Department.

"I just feel like there is not enough awareness out there," said Sarah Bestor, one of the students organizing the project.

Bestor said she didn't know about the need for bone marrow donors until she learned one of the students at her high school has leukemia.

In fact, two students at the school have cancer, she learned.

The bone marrow project was conceived by chemistry teacher Becky DeSalvo, who worked with Bestor and Ella Smith to make it part of their sophomore project.

Their bone marrow drive will take place March 14. Anybody between the ages of 18 and 44 can visit the high school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to have their cheeks swabbed and be entered into the system to become a potential donor.

Their goal is to have 30 people tested and to raise $3,000.

"Some people don't understand how helpful it is for others," said Bestor.

The students will also raise money with the theater department.

At 7 p.m. on March 14, a showing of scenes and pieces will be presented from the theater department's upcoming play, "And Then They Came for Me."

Tickets to the showing cost $8 each.

At 7:30 p.m. on April 1 and 2, the theater department will present the play. Tickets are $5.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from the events will go to Be The Match.

Shannon Houston is a Southern Oregon University intern. Reach her at

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