A recent fundraiser to raise funds for Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter has a deeper meaning to Lehighton Area Middle School students since one of their own was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
Organizing the collection of change in Zimmie's Iced Tea containers for the local wish granting organization were members of the school's newly formed Humanitarian Club. Through the event, the club collected $2,930.33 for Dream Come True.
"This is such a worthwhile organization," said Katie Decker, adviser. "We talked it over with the club members and they wanted to help." Other club advisers are Amanda Rex and Julie Solt.
Through this project, Zimmerman's Dairy donated 750 fresh iced tea containers, which the students tagged with Dream Come True labels. Then the students distributed the containers to each homeroom and then went back to the classrooms a few weeks later to pick up the filled containers. The end result was the more than $2,900 collected.
The project didn't end there. Each student's name who participated in the fundraiser was entered in a contest to win a 10 mega pixel camera and gift cards. Winner of the camera was Ellza Asman, while the gift cards were won by Corey Young, Jackie Jordan, McKenzie Smith, Devin Frantz, Angelica Kerscmar and Zach Christoff.
A few weeks ago sixth grader Tristan Wentz began getting headaches. He is the son of Nicole and David Semmel of Lehighton.
His mother said that his pain was on and off. When he complained of the pain in his head, his mother said that she gave him Motrin which seemed to help.
But in a matter of days, his symptoms worsened and he began vomiting.
That is when his parents had Tristan examined in the emergency room, where a CT scan showed the mass in his brain.
The CT scan used a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of Tristan's brain. The CT scan showed detailed images of the malignant mass.
Young Tristan was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma by doctors at Children's Hospital.
Astrocytomas are glial cell tumors that are derived from connective tissue cells called astrocytes. These cells can be found anywhere in the brain or spinal cord. Tristan's tumor was at the top of his skull.
Since then he had surgery, where about half of the tumor was removed.
"He should be starting chemotherapy and radiation by Thursday or Monday," said his mom. "He wants to be a normal 12 year old and be as active as he used to be, but I keep stressing that he has to rest. He keeps saying he wants to beat this thing. I know that he has a lot of people who are backing him up and want to help."
A fund is being set up at a local bank to help with Tristan's medical costs. Until the account is set up, donations may be sent to Tristan Wentz, in care of Nicole Semmel, 80 Semmel's Hill Road, Lehighton, Pa. 18235.