When Dylan Krum, 15, of Lehighton first got sick, it shocked most people. But his illness propelled Erin McGinley, 10, and her sister. Ally, 9, into action.
The girls, daughters of Julie Harris and Bill McGinley of Lehighton, knew Dylan from Zion United Church of Christ, Lehighton, where they sang together in the choir. They wanted to help the family in any way they could.
Sadly, Dylan lost his battle with cancer on July 15.
When Erin heard about the expenses incurred by the illness, her thoughts raced. She came up with a plan to sell bracelets with Dylan's name on them to raise funds to purchase gas cards because she was concerned when she heard how much his parents, Lora (Long) and David Krum were spending on gasoline to visit Dylan every day at Lehigh Valley Hospital where he was undergoing treatment. Dylan had been hospitalized since he was diagnosed with pediatric follicular lymphoma, a rare type of cancer in children.
Dylan had a difficult time with the chemotherapy regimen that was used to treat the aggressive form of cancer that he had.
The bracelets, designed by Erin, are rainbow colored and have a music note and a trumpet on each side because Dylan played the trumpet.
"They know that Dylan was sick so they were busy," said Judy Harris, the girls' grandmother. Before Dylan passed away the girls sold 600 bracelets and had ordered 400 more, which they hope to now sell.
The bracelets come in a child size and an adult size, which has been more popular.
"They heard all about Dylan at the church," said Harris. "They sell them after church services and at the Fritz bowling lane event and at the blood drive held in his memory. They are also being sold at three hospitals, restaurants and diners, Zion Church office, at Lehighton Hardware and through the Lehighton Band."
To help the family with medical expenses, Bev and Dennis Fritzinger, owners of Fritz's Lanes and Pro Shop bowling lanes, 100 S. Second St., Lehighton, hosted a benefit bowling day at the bowling lanes on July 17.
All proceeds from the day went to his family to help with his medical bills. The event raised $5,527.
Erin has always been a go-getter. When she was in first grade, she raised $1,000 for the American Heart Association and then a couple of years ago, she raised $700 to send soccer balls to Iraq.
This time her project has struck home to help the family of another child.