When Keith Hoogland, president of Family Video, launched the chain's annual Round It Up for Lymphoma campaign in 2012, he predicted they'd raise about half a million dollars.

They didn't raise $500,000 that year. At the end of the 17-day campaign, during which every customer was asked at the register to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar and donate the change to support lymphoma research, they had raised almost $1 million.

Every year since, they've built on the success of that first year. Family Video, the country's largest video and game rental store with more than 700 stores across North America, has now raised more than $8.5 million total. The round-up campaign, says Hoogland, "is one of my favorite times of year"—a time when he and Family Video's customers and employees all rally around an incredible cause.

The University of Chicago Medicine has been a grateful beneficiary, along with the Lymphoma Research Foundation, of those funds for the past four years—specifically Sonali Smith, MD, director of the Lymphoma Program at the University of Chicago. And the need for research into this blood cancer couldn't be more urgent. Lymphoma is a complex family of cancers in which the cells of the immune system themselves turn into a cancer. Many of the subtypes of lymphoma are either very aggressive, hard-to-treat, or incurable with current treatments, and it's the most common blood cancer in adults.

The funds from Family Video's Round It Up for Lymphoma campaign have allowed Smith to launch the Hoogland Lymphoma Biobank at the University of Chicago. Through the Biobank, which was established in 2013, she collects tissue specimens from patients with lymphoma, along with information about their diet, lifestyle, and other factors that could play a role in the cancer's growth. Since the biobank was established, Smith has enrolled 1,433 patients, received 1,030 blood samples, and collected nearly 500 tissue samples.

"It's amazing to think what pennies can accomplish," Smith says. "Watching the biobank grow and seeing the research that has come out of it makes me feel confident that we are, together, making an impact on this complex disease."

By better understanding how biology and environmental factors interact in lymphoma patients, physicians and scientists will be able to prevent and better diagnose the disease, as well as create more targeted treatments to help people live better and longer.

"I feel like we're just getting started," Hoogland says. "Through the Biobank, we're collecting more and more information about patients, and we'll be able to get more insight into who gets lymphoma and why."

Hoogland knew from the start that he wanted a portion of the Round It Up campaign to support Smith and her work. He met her through his work with the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and they immediately hit it off, he says. "There are doctors and there are healers," Hoogland says. "And Soni's a healer."

The 2020 Round It Up for Lymphoma campaign runs in all Family Video stores from March 6 to 22. Learn more: https://www.familyvideo.com/round-it-up