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Gilbert teen arranges fundraiser to help benefit leukemia and lymphoma patients

Posted at 10:32 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 10:55:12-04

GILBERT, AZ — A Valley high school senior is ready to give up her hair for hope. She’s planning to shave her head ahead of graduation to support leukemia and lymphoma patients.

What started as an idea, among a few Williams Field High School seniors to shave their heads, is growing into a campaign to give back.

"I was like, we should. I started doing more research and decided I wanted to do this by myself,” said Ana Lagos.

One of Lagos' family members died from leukemia seven years ago. Since January, the 18-year-old student has been collecting money to give to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

She's posted on social media, handed out flyers, and arranged a fundraiser at three Lou Malnati's Pizzerias in the Valley. She's also planning to shave her head in support.

"They were all about it. They jumped right on top of it. They are good about supporting employees with what they love. What I love is what they love. It just kind of worked out,” added Lagos.

The restaurant -- whose founder died from cancer -- is giving Ana 20% of this Wednesday's proceeds to donate to the cause.

"In 2016, I had a lengthy battle with lymphoma myself. This cause is near a dear to me. I am still here. I am just grateful there are people willing to do this,” said Lou Malnati’s District Manager Mike Sterner.

Scotty Hammonds is one of many people willing to help. He noticed Ana interviewing with ABC15 and donated after learning why.

"I think it is great, not only that she is raising money, but she is going to shave her head as well Thursday. So, that is an incredible story and individual doing it. Why not support her,” said Hammond.

Another customer during ABC15's filming of the segment learned of Ana's mission and gave her a $100 bill to support the cause.

The teenager with a big heart has a simple goal. She hopes to raise $1,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. But, she says she'd be all smiles if the fundraiser generated even more money than that.

"If it got to be more, you know $5,000 or $6,000, it would be amazing for that to happen,” added Lagos. “Just because I am really passionate about it, I think it is a good cause and you can get some good pizza out of it."

ABC15 will check in with Ana as her fundraising efforts continue.

Anyone unable to attend the fundraisers at Lou Malnati's can contribute directly to the cause online.

If you go, only three locations will be participating in the fundraiser:

Carryout & Delivery Only
3115 S Val Vista Drive
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: (480) 612-9700

Carryout & Delivery Only
3510 E Baseline Road
Suite L5-D-103
Mesa, AZ 85204
Phone: (480) 885-2499

Full Service Restaurant & Bar
100 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: (602) 892-9998