Benco associates take on the 5 for 5 Saltine Challenge to fight pediatric sarcoma cancer

Team Arnav Foundation raises awareness and money for pediatric sarcoma cancer and research in tribute to Arnav Krishna, who died at age 16 after 2.5 year battle with osteosarcoma.

This past Friday, associates at the Benco Dental home office in Pittston, Pennsylvania, tackled the 5 for 5 Saltine Challenge, which was created by the Team Arnav Foundation to raise awareness and money for pediatric sarcoma cancer and research.

The nonprofit Team Arnav was founded by Dhruv Krishna, with the help of family and friends, to honor his twin brother Arnav, who lost his life to a 2.5 year battle with osteosarcoma. The foundation’s goal is to raise money to help fund osteosarcoma research.

Dhruv Krishna, while a summer intern at the nation’s largest family-owned dental distributor, enlisted his team members at Benco to participate in the Challenge.

View the video: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1eW5fBn0-E/?igshid=wogawg3lzkk4

The Challenge

The challenge is to eat 5 Saltines in under a minute, then donate $5 on the Team Arnav website, hence the name 5 for 5. Once completed, share the challenge video on social media, tag @TeamArnav and nominate five others to complete the challenge. Nominees are given 48 hours to complete the challenge.

Thus far, the challenge has raised $10,000, with over 400 participants, including four corporations.

Arnav’s Story

The late Arnav Krishna is shown before a cycling race in 2018 after his recovery from chemo and surgery.

Arnav Krishna grew up in the Lehigh Valley, PA, attending the Swain School from grades Pre-K through 8. He was a nationally-ranked cyclist (he earned the 18th spot for his age group in the nation in 2016), an avid learner who excelled in the classroom, and a kind friend to all.

In the summer of 2016, Arnav was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of aggressive bone cancer that affects a mere 400 people a year. After a year of grueling chemotherapy, a 17-hour surgery, and still more chemotherapy, he was cleared as cancer free.

During his battle with cancer, Arnav adopted a mantra: Relentless Positivity. This inspired him and those around him to stay positive regardless of the circumstances, and to see the good in everything.

Less than a year after his clearance as cancer-free, doctors discovered the cancer had relocated and spread all over Arnav’s body. There was no cure.

The Foundation

Twin brothers Arnav (right) and Dhruv (left) Krishna pose for a photo at Meadowbrook Farm, PA.

Dhruv Krishna, 17, a rising senior at Moravian Academy in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, discussed the inspiration behind Team Arnav Foundation.

“I saw how much he suffered, how much I suffered, and how much everybody else suffered. I want to do everything in my power to make sure no one else has to suffer like that ever again.”

Dhruv Krishna

The foundation’s mission is to “build a community of support for those in need and work to raise awareness and funds to continue the fight against sarcoma cancer.” Every dollar raised by the foundation goes directly to research, therapy, and treatments for sarcoma.

Dhruv was motivated to create the foundation after he saw firsthand how little funding sarcoma received: “Sarcoma cancers only receive about $100,000 in funding annually, while more common cancers, such as breast cancer, receive about $6 billion annually. It was really jarring that something so life-taking received so little funding to find a cure.”

The Future

Dhruv is hoping that in the future, funds created by the Team Arnav Foundation will help find a cure to sarcoma cancers. Dhruv said he is eternally grateful to everyone who has contributed and donated so far.

To read more about Arnav Krishna and the Team Arnav Foundation or donate, visit Team Arnav’s website http://teamarnav.org

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