Team S.H.I.N.E.: Champions for a Cause

. March 1, 2018.

Ari Mabry, a 16-year-old Ann Arbor Pioneer High School student, survived childhood leukemia. As a nominee in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s 2018 Students of the Year fundraising campaign, Mabry leads Team S.H.I.N.E. as one of several competing teams in the Detroit area.

Mabry and his mother, Johanna, seek to raise $12,000 every week during the seven-week campaign to reach their goal of $84,000 by March 10. Donations will go to research and to fund programs for leukemia, lymphoma and blood cancer patients and survivors. So far they have “made a nice dent” in reaching their goal; “the power of word of mouth can go a long way,” Mabry said.

Better treatments on the horizon

There is a pressing need for more investment in research as promising treatment trends emerge. Mabry strongly supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because of the organization’s deep commitment. Dollars raised during the campaign will be invested in a comprehensive research portfolio.

It has been 12 years since Mabry’s diagnosis of cancer; his treatment began in kindergarten, and he went through four years of chemotherapy that was often harsh. He wants to improve patient care and treatment, as well as post-treatment care, to provide continuous support to survivors.

Also a cancer survivor, Johanna Mabry emphasized the need for programs that help kids develop life skills because children miss out on so much when they undergo treatment. Having experienced these hardships, she feels cancer patients and survivors need more compassionate care.

“Don’t give up! Live your life to the fullest, even though it’s difficult,” says Ari Mabry. He offers encouragement to kids facing similar challenges, saying, “that’s what helped me the most.”

The healing power of music

During his own treatment, early music therapy made a powerful difference in his life. A saxophone and guitar player, he has ambitions to study music after high school.

Mabry favors fingerstyle acoustic guitar, with percussive accents played on the body of the instrument. The Mabrys are inviting musicians to contribute tracks to an online digital album called Fingerstyle for a Cure to help raise awareness and funds for their campaign. Mabry feels there is a lot of power in gathering musicians for a cause and hopes to see these efforts flourish in the future.

Visit to learn more about the auction events, projects and to donate, or stop by Mudpuddles Toy Store in Kerrytown to donate in person. They invite everyone to donate $10 or more, and to ask friends and coworkers to do the same.
Mabry also welcomes Ann Arbor high school students to join his team. The winning team will be announced March 10 at the Grand Finale Gala at Chrysler House in Detroit. “Even small actions make a huge difference,” says Mabry. “Help us fight cancer!”

Contact Team S.H.I.N.E. by email at with any questions.