Slam dunk for LLS - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Slam dunk for LLS

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Indian Hills High School students are rallying behind one of their seniors. His name is Danny Strunk and he is a 5-year survivor of leukemia.

Since then, he's been raising money to help other kids fighting the killer blood disease.

A bunch of the students got together in Kenwood Thursday, where they were really using their "noodles" to raise money, literally.

From 3 p.m. until 10 p.m., the restaurant "Noodles & Company" donated 25-percent of all the sales of all dinners. And Friday night, the fundraising continues for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on the basketball court.

"I myself am a leukemia survivor," said Indian Hills High School Senior, Danny Strunk. "I was diagnosed in 7th grade, I'm in remission, I've been in remission for about 5 years now."

Strunk finished treatment August 23, 2008 and ever since, he's been thinking of ways he can give back as a survivor.

"Unfortunately there isn't much federal government money that goes to childhood cancer research or blood cancer research, mainly because there isn't a lobby for it to be honest with you," Strunk said.

When asked if he ever thought he'd beat it, Strunk quickly replied, "no."

"Of course not," he said. "You cant, you just can't let that thought enter your mind."

So last year he founded Slam Dunk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and sold raffle tickets for chances to dunk a basketball.

"They'll have to make a lay-up, a free throw a 3-point and then a half-court shot," Strunk said. "They'll have 30 seconds and whoever gets the farthest will win a $50 gift certificate to Dewey's restaurant in Kenwood."

Strunk was wearing a suit the day we interviewed him. And even in a suit, no pressure, Danny scored a couple of baskets. And his buddy Sami Taha not a bad shot either.

They're hoping to get as many kids as possible to wear special bright red t-shirts they had printed-up. There is an image of a drop of blood over the heart with the numbers "2010" underneath it.

Leukemia is a blood-borne cancer. The students sold the t-shirts and over the past three weeks, sold hundreds of roses, for a song.

"Another thing we were doing was we sold roses, " said friend Matt Littman. "And Danny, the guy in charge of this, would sing songs to people for a fee and so he would deliver them to classes so it was kind of like a cool spirit gram."

His friends stand behind him 110 percent.

"I've been helping him put up signs throughout the school," said friend Alex Sneider. "I'm actually an anchor on our school news program and so today after school we're filming the news program."

His friends are promoting "Slam Dunk For LLS" everywhere they can.

"I was head of the solicitations committee," Taha said. "I helped talk to other businesses and we received donations from them a lot of places helped out and they were really nice about it."

"How motivated he (Danny) is for everything being a cancer survivor and just seeing how happy he gets when we get good solicitations, the more money we make he gets he seems to be so happy," said Sneider.

Last year, the students raised almost $5,000. This year, they are hoping for $10,000. All of the money raised will stay local.

The slam-dunk tournament will be at halftime during Friday night's game versus Wyoming, which is also Indian Hill's Homecoming game. 

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