‘Can’t thank them enough’: Bloomfield students rally around classmate’s sister battling cancer

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BLOOMFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s the season of giving and one area elementary class is inspiring others to lend a helping hand. 

A 5th grade class in the Bloomfield Central School District is rallying around one of their classmates whose younger sister is battling childhood cancer. 

Lucy Cary is just 10-years-old, but after seeing her younger sister, Laynie, go through cancer, she wanted to do something to help. She decided to raise money for childhood cancer awareness and research by painting gold pumpkins.

But her classmates, didn’t want her to do it alone. 

“My class asked if that was something we could be a part of and they arranged it,” said Christine Ashton, Lucy’s 5th grade teacher. “They went out, got the pumpkins, they went home and made the signs. They just really wanted to support Lucy and her family, so it was really initiated by their thoughtfulness.”

Lucy said seeing her classmates come together to help her family was incredible.

“It made me feel really happy because it was just like they really wanted to help. Not only for my sister, but for the other kids who are in need of getting better,” Lucy said. 

For every golden pumpkin painted, $1 was donated to childhood cancer research.  The students also make signs raise awareness.

“They wanted to not only help Lucy and support her because she’s going through it as much as her sister, but they really wanted to support the cause, and they were very strongly adamant of wanting to make a sign outside and try to inspire others to just be good people and support the cause too,” Ashton said. 

And while the students painted the pumpkins inside the school, their efforts extended beyond classroom walls. 

“I had people reach out to me. They wanted to donate monetarily because they weren’t able to do the pumpkins. They wanted to know how they could not only support the family, but support childhood cancer. And that’s really what the family asked, was they wanted to raise awareness because this could happen to anybody,” Christine said. 

Lucy’s classmates said they were happy to be part of a good cause and support their friend. 

“Honestly, it was probably one of the nicest things I have ever done because it just felt so nice to do it because you’re helping someone who needs help,” said Elijah Farrelman, one of Lucy’s classmates. “They are in the hospital and nobody wants to go to the hospital of course, and they’re really sick and you’re helping them, and it’s just super nice and it made me feel really good.”

The student’s efforts were part of a larger effort for Lucy’s sister. The foundation and community ended up raising $17,000 for childcare cancer research in Laynie’s name. 

“I can’t thank them enough for it because it was just like a miracle because it wasn’t only for my sister, but it was for the kids in need to help get better.”

And while Ms. Ashton’s class has given back before, she said this time was different. 

“It warmed my heart. We do service projects every year, but for them to initiate it and go behind the scenes to make it happen, really, as a teacher made me super proud. And really, it’s what it’s all about is being good people and they proved that they have so much good inside of them,” Christine said. 

Every year, more than 15-thousand children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with cancer. To read more about how you can donate to childhood cancer research, click here.

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