Wellington Teens Spearhead Fundraiser For Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Team leaders Sophie and Grace Norick with Kyle Fleisch.

Wellington High School student Sophie Norick was recently nominated as a candidate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2024 Palm Beach-Treasure Coast Student Visionaries of the Year campaign, a leadership development program that runs from mid-January through early March.

The program helps raise funds to help blood cancer patients survive and thrive after their treatment. “I’m competing against other teams that have kids my age — from freshmen to seniors in high school — to raise money for LLS,” Sophie said.

Each team — there are about seven — has different fundraising goals, which are kept confidential during the program. Sophie’s team was established in March 2023, with three team leaders, including Sophie and her twin sister Grace Norick, as well as Kyle Fleisch.

“We’re just doing as much as we can,” Sophie said. “We’re planning things, we’re marketing, we’re e-mailing, we’re doing all of that to raise the most amount of money.”

Sophie applied for the program and was also nominated by her neighbor, Natalie Rhoades.

Rhoades’ son, Bodhi, was diagnosed in 2019 with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at three years old.

For Sophie and Grace, Bodhi and his brother Fynn are more like siblings than neighbors. It was difficult for them, at 13 years old, to see their three-year-old neighbor go in and out of the hospital, and then seeing other children who were sick. “It’ll absolutely tear you to shreds,” she said.

Not all children are as lucky as Bodhi, she added, to have two parents who would be with him all the time.

And on June 20, 2022, Bodhi Danger Macken rang the bell signaling the end of his three-year battle with cancer, which is now in remission.

“After witnessing first-hand the support Bodhi and his family were given, it inclined me to give other kids and their families the same support throughout their own cancer journey,” Sophie said. “Bodhi and his mother Natalie Rhoades inspired me to help those who face similar struggles.”

Inspired by Natalie, Sophie has taken the lead of her fundraising team, where they’ve planned various fundraisers throughout February, including Dollar for No Collar at Binks Forest Elementary School, a Sip and Shop event at Fab Finds by Sarah at the Winter Equestrian Festival and a soccer night at Village Park.

Additionally, they are selling “Doing it for Danger” trucker hats online at www.doingitfordanger.com.

The goal of their fundraising campaigns is to raise money on the pillar of family advocacy.

To contribute to their campaign, visit https://events.lls.org/pb/svoypb24/sophieandgracenorick.