Lansing teacher organizes Zumba fundraiser for former student with cancer

2013-03-02T14:30:00Z 2013-03-02T22:22:04Z Lansing teacher organizes Zumba fundraiser for former student with cancerDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent
March 02, 2013 2:30 pm  • 

LANSING | Micah Steele wants to grow up to be a doctor because he thinks he has a unique perspective.

"I want to help other kids like me," Micah said. "If they say it's too hard, I can tell them that I've been through it."

What Micah has been through is cancer. He was first diagnosed with bone cancer in his leg at 7. He's been through numerous surgeries and treatments with varying success, but the disease has spread to his pelvic and hip bones. Now 11 years old and using a wheelchair, tumors have been found on his heart and lungs.

Oak Glen teacher Bridgett Anderson Annicks has organized a Zumba class March 10 at Memorial Junior High School to raise money to send Micah and his family to Disney World. Her family will also let the Steeles stay in their Marriott Orlando time share.

"He and his family deserve to have a week together with no worries, no matter what that takes to get them there," Anderson Annicks said. "I believe that great things can happen to great people. The Steele family members are beyond great people and need some help."

"It is the right thing to do, and I know I can make it happen."

Anderson Annicks, a licensed Zumba instructor, had Micah in class and has kept in contact ever since. She comes by the house to paint and draw, tutor or just hang out with her former pupil. Micah has been physically unable to attend school for the last year and a half.

Erika Steele, Micah's mother, usually sets up camp in the hospital when her son has to stay overnight. When she absolutely has to leave, Anderson Annicks often takes her place.

Erika has lupus, which gets worth with the kind of stress brought on by raising a son like Micah, and often needs the help.

"I really, really appreciate (Anderson Annicks)," Erika said. "They're best buddies. (Micah) loves her."

The Steele family has been to Disney World once before, courtesy of the Make a Wish Foundation, when Micah was 7. Charities are reluctant to do such things more than once, so Erika took Anderson Annicks up on a standing offer to help when news came of the tumor on Micah's heart.

"The week we went (to Disney World) before was the best time ever," Erika said. "It was a whole week of relaxation and just fun."

Micah wants to go back because he remembers how much his parents and three brothers enjoyed their time in Florida.

"I'll have fun, too, of course," Micah said. "But I want to show (my family) how much I appreciate them."

Local restaurants and businesses will be donating door prizes for the Zumba class, including an autographed Curtis Granderson jersey. Andreson Annicks said she hopes to raise $5,000.

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