BEXLEY, Ohio (WCMH) — Charlotte and Hadley Langolf are being honored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for their fundraising efforts in 2020.
After their grandfather was diagnosed with leukemia, the sisters embarked on a voyage to help find a cure.
“I don’t ever remember not sailing,” said 10-year-old Charlotte Langolf.
Sailing is a tradition in the Langolf family.
“I was born into it, because my mom sailed growing up and my dad sailed growing up,” Charlotte said.
The sisters set sail in Lake Erie’s annual Leukemia Cup Regatta last summer as part of a 12-member, all-kids sailing crew from Ohio.
“It’s just going to be wet and cold,” said 12-year-old Hadley Langolf. “We got out on the water, and I don’t ever remember being more scared over something.”
However, their motivation to brave the waters stems from their personal experience with the potentially life-threatening disease.
“My grandpa was diagnosed with leukemia, our crew mate, Molly, is a leukemia survivor and one of the crew mates on the adult crew is fighting leukemia right now, so it’s a very close to heart disease,” Hadley added.
Through grassroots efforts, they began asking for donations for their crew’s mission.
“We told our friends about it, they told their parents about it,” Hadley said.
They eventually raised over $27,000 and earned first place as the top fundraising team at the regatta.
“I was just as surprised and shocked as I think the rest of our crew was,” Hadley said.
With only two adults on board the boat, the 12 young sailors fought through harsh weather conditions to finish the race.
“It was crazy conditions,” Hadley said. “We saw 6-foot waves, we were going through 6-foot waves.”
For their fundraising efforts, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society honored the crew with the 2020 Junior Volunteer of the Year Award. The team is also being inducted into the Leukemia Cup Regatta Hall of Fame.