Lauryn "Lu" Oliphant was a National Honor Society member, sang in the school choir, played on the golf team and inspired classmates and Ohio State University football players to wear leukemia awareness bracelets and T-shirts.

Just 17 years old, her 18-month battle with acute myelogenous leukemia came to an end May 5, 2016.

But in memory of the former Pickerington High School North student, and in honor of her wish to carry on her work to find a cure for the disease that killed her, the Oliphant family established the Lauryn "Lu" Oliphant Memorial Fund.

The Rockin' to Beat Leukemia fundraiser will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at Callahan's, 520 Park St., Columbus. Tickets are $30 and can be obtained, along with sponsorship details, by calling 614-915-2381 or email scott.oliphant@yahoo.com.

The Lauryn "Lu" Oliphant Memorial Fund supports raising awareness for AML research at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in the hope of developing better treatment options and outcomes. It also will provide an annual scholarship in Oliphant's name.

"Our Lauryn did not want anyone else to have to fight this terrible disease," said Scott Oliphant, Lu's father.

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.

The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 21,380 new AML cases -- mostly among adults -- in the U.S. in 2017, and that 10,590 people in America will die from the disease this year.

In establishing the memorial fund, the Oliphants point to statistics supported by the Childhood Cancer Foundation that show the National Cancer Institute spends just 4 percent of its budget on children's cancers.

They also said people diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia typically are treated with the same chemotherapies that have been used for the past 40 years.

"It is time to change this," said Theresa Oliphant, Lu's mother. "We want to bring awareness and contribute to the research efforts.

"I think it's important to realize there's not too much out there about the leukemia Lauryn had," she said. "It's a great cause and (Rockin' to Beat Leukemia) is bringing awareness to this blood cancer."

Rockin' to Beat Leukemia will feature live music by The Martini Affair, a silent auction, raffles, food and beverages.

The event complements a July golf outing the Oliphants have planned to support Lu's memorial fund.

"Her two favorite things were music and golf," Theresa Oliphant said.

One of Lu's close friends, PHS North senior Lauren Conley, said classmates and the Pickerington community still grieve the loss of Lu but continue to honor her spirit.

Conley said she hopes people from central Ohio turn out for Rockin' to Beat Leukemia to remember Lu and to take up the cause she championed.

"Lauryn has been such an inspiration to me over the past few years because she had a fight inside her that was amazing," Conley said. "She was an amazing young woman and I believe the community is continuing to carry her legacy.

"As the saying goes, 'Never give up.' She really instilled that value into many."

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate