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Sixteen-year-old Twins Alex and Josh Meoli of Towson and sophomores at Loch Raven High School, are gearing up for the school's seventh annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at the school on April 25.
Sixteen-year-old Twins Alex and Josh Meoli of Towson and sophomores at Loch Raven High School, are gearing up for the school's seventh annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at the school on April 25. (Submitted photo)

Josh and Alex Meoli, 16-year-old twins and sophomores at Loch Raven High School, are gearing up for the school's seventh annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at the school on April 25.

The brothers, of Campus Hills, are part of Team Emily's Army, a group of passionate fundraisers made up of about a dozen supporters who have been raising money for cancer research for eight years. The team was formed by the twins' sister, Tori, when their mother, Emily, was diagnosed with cancer in 2007.

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"It's important to get involved," Alex said. "We need to let others know what cancer does and how it affects so many people. We need to let them know that there are ways to stop it. It's all about educating others."

Participating in Loch Raven's Relay For Life is just one way the Meoli twins are fundraising.

"We hold a bunch of events that raise money, and I partake in them," Josh said. "We just had a volleyball tournament at school where we raised around $700."

The money raised at the various events all goes toward Loch Raven's overall goal of raising $60,000. In total, 22 teams and 141 participants are working together to raise money and awareness.

Emily Meoli is grateful for the opportunity her children have had over the years to be a part of her personal fight against cancer.

"When I was a kid, I never even thought I could make a difference," Emily said. "Today, kids just know they can make a difference, and they are doing just that. It is amazing for them as it is for me."

According to Emily, their involvement has helped more than just raise money.

"It was a huge part of my sons' healing process to feel like they could do something that was going to help me directly," Emily said.

Elizabeth McKinley, of Campus Hills and a junior at Loch Raven, is the committee head, and she helps run the survivorship committee, which helps get survivors to the event.

McKinley is also currently the top fundraiser, netting over $1,100 for the cause so far. She inspires others to donate through personal stories and education.

"I relay for my Uncle Kevin who passed away from Leukemia in 2007," McKinley said. "I share how cancer has affected me, and it helps [me] connect to so many people and get to learn their experience with cancer."

In addition to Loch Raven's relay, Towson University will be holding its Relay For Life event on April 18 in Burdick Hall. So far, they have 52 teams and 480 participants who have raised nearly $20,000.

To support Team Emily's Army, McKinley, or other participants, go to http://www.relayforlife.org and search for Towson, Md. Donations will be accepted for a limited time after the events conclude.

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