ALBION, Ind. (WANE) – A Central Noble High School senior is going the extra mile for a teacher battling cancer.
Lucas Deck, 17, started a GoFundMe after learning that his math teacher was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer where the disease is originating from white blood sells. He wanted to help math teacher Brian Gillespie because he is his favorite teacher, but he also knows firsthand what kind of financial strain a cancer diagnosis can put on a family.
“I started it because my mom, when she had breast cancer in 2009, the financial, all the medical bills and stuff, really hit hard,” said Deck. “No matter what type of cancer it is, it’s always going to be expensive so I thought I’d help out one of my favorite teachers.”
Deck originally intended for his fundraiser to be a surprise for Gillespie once all the money was raised. As news of the GoFundMe spread online, his teacher discovered the fundraiser and reached out to Deck to thank him. The school’s Honor Society is also raising money through a t-shirt drive and school administration has organized a meal train that provides Gillespie and his wife with one prepared meal per week. While he appreciates the help, what really affected him was the story behind Deck’s GoFundMe.
“At first, it’s a little overwhelming because you’re not used to it, and then it becomes humbling,” said Gillespie. “With Lucas and the GoFundMe, it was a surprise to see that a student would do that for me but the coolest thing about it was when he shared his story as to why he did it. It could’ve raised $5 or $5,000 but the coolest was, and I was honored, that he shared his story with me about his mother.”
“I didn’t know a lot about it but it was almost a relief because I’d had all of the other tests and they kept coming back negative and I was getting weaker,” said Gillespie. “I had a really bad cough that wasn’t going away and I didn’t have any answers.”
Deck set a $2,500 goal for the fundraiser and has raised $1,020 since setting the page up on October 30 but he is hoping to raise more to help with Gillespie’s medical bills. Gillespie says he is currently undergoing chemotherapy and as of now his health is getting better and he is optimistic about the future.
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