When 17-year-old Lauryn Oliphant lost her 18-month battle with acute myelogenous leukemia in May 2016, her parents grieved both privately and with high school students and others from Pickerington and throughout central Ohio who were touched personally by "Lu," or by her story.

Less than a year later, Scott and Theresa Oliphant endeavored to honor their daughter and continue to fight the disease that took her by establishing a memorial fund in her honor and hosting an event to bolster AML awareness and raise money to research its cure.

The first Rockin' to Beat Leukemia was held last March, and it drew more than 400 people.

It also raised more than $18,000 for AML research at Nationwide Children's Hospital and The James Cancer Hospital.

The Oliphants said they hope this year's Rockin' to Beat Leukemia event, planned to be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 24 at Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, on the Ohio State campus, will surpass last year's totals.

Tickets, which include free parking passes, are available at lumemorialfund.com and facebook.com/TeamLauryn.

"We're hoping this year is going to be bigger and better," Scott Oliphant said.

"We're here to raise money for research so other people don't have to go through what we went through, what our daughter went through."

The theme for this year's event is "Be Part of the Breakthrough. Be Part of the Cure."

It's a motto the Oliphants have taken up because their Lu wanted them to carry on her fight for fellow patients she met at Children's and the James, and for anyone who might face AML in the future.

According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, acute myelogenous leukemia is a fast-growing form of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It has eight different subtypes.

It's also a disease that, according to the American Cancer Society, results in approximately 19,520 new cases in the U.S. each year, and about 10,670 deaths annually.

"There were a lot of kids (Lu) took under her wing when she was going through this," Theresa Oliphant said.

"She was like the cheerleader on the oncology and (blood, marrow and transplant) units.

"Her message was 'Never give up,' and she inspired a lot of people," she said.

"We want to spread awareness and help support AML trials they have going on."

Much the same as last year, Rockin' to Beat Cancer will be celebratory.

It will feature a live performance by the band The Martini Affair because music was a pillar in Lu's life. There also will be food, beer and wine.

Additionally, sales from the event's $30 tickets, commemorative T-shirts, a silent auction, raffle drawings and tax-deductible donations given at the event will go to fight AML.

"There's an opportunity to succeed now that even 10 years ago we didn't have because we didn't understand the genetics," said Dr. William Blum of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

"We're making headway in that," Blum said. "These things make a big difference."

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate