Tonawanda News

October 6, 2012

WALKING FOR A FRIEND

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Students at Mullen Elementary School took to the pavement Friday afternoon to help raise funds for a fellow second-grader, Julien Lamb, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in May. 

“If you know Julien, you know he is bright, hilarious, insightful and just an awesome person,” Mullen Principal Jessica Lyons said. 

The “Hero Comes in All Sizes Walk” marked the end of the fundraising week for Julien, age 7, and his family. In the past seven days, the students have raised over $3,000, all of which will be directly donated to the Lamb family. 

After his diagnosis in May, doctors discovered Julien also has a Philadelphia chromosome that  requires Julien to undergo additional cancer treatments. Only 5 percent of children diagnosed with leukemia have the chromosome. 

Since June, Julien has been undergoing chemotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Women and Children’s Hospital for five or six days at at time, and then is able to go home for 10 to 14 days. 

That pattern will continue for another six months.

“He is fighting a battle that no 7 year old should have to,” Lyons said. 

Third-grade student Owen Langa was touched by Julien’s story and took it upon himself to raise additional money for Julian. 

“I knocked on doors, my mom and I asked them if they would like to donate,” Langa said. 

Langa and his mother raised an impressive $180 for the Lambs in the past week. 

“He really did it all on his own,” Lyons said. 

The fundraising week began Friday, Sept. 28 with a kick-off lunch for the students and throughout this week, each day had a special theme at the school. 

Students had the opportunity to dress up each day for $1. One day was superhero day and on Friday, everyone wore orange — the color for the fight against childhood cancer. 

Luminaria bags and paper feet were sold for the walk, which lined the sidewalk Friday. 

“Each one represents a person that you know that’s been touched by cancer,” Lyons told the students before the walk. “Please think of the loved ones that have been directly touched as we walk today.” 

After Lyons announced the fundraising total, the students marched around the school, donned in orange. City of Tonawanda board members and parents took part in the walk as well. 

Lyons said Julien’s father, Patrick, wanted to attend the event but had to stay with Julien, who wasn’t feeling well. He sent his thanks to the school and students for all they have done for his son. 

The week also involved educational programs that gave children the opportunity to learn about cancer and how to make healthy choices. 

Julien may visit the school in the next few weeks, and Lyons said the education will help the students know what their friend is going through when he comes. 

“We are all a part of the fight against childhood cancer,” she said. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.