CROWN POINT | Drew Perschon and the Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation hold a special place in the hearts of Crown Point High School students.
Under the auspices of the LEAD Council, a group of student leaders and sponsors created to provide direction to all student led initiatives, various CPHS organizations banned together to raise close to $1,000 for the foundation during the annual Student/Teacher Olympics.
"It was a great way to give to the families of Northwest Indiana," said Katie Dillon, CPHS InterAct president. "Drew has been the face of the NICK Foundation and everyone is affected by this disease in some way or another."
Students and teachers competed in everything from volleyball, pie eating, basketball and even a dance contest.
"The school corporation see our students as our biggest and greatest resources," said Russ Marcinek, CPHS assistant principal. "We are here to support them and encourage them to showcase their talents and generosity. We all have fun at the olympics and we are all working together for a great cause."
Thew NICK Foundation is a nonprofit that helps many area families and was founded by Kate Perschon when her son, Drew, was diagnosed with Stage Four neuroblastoma, a malignant cancer that develops from nerve tissue in infants and children.
Drew's early life was a roller coaster ride for the Perschons as he underwent five rounds of chemotherapy, three surgeries, three rounds of high-dose chemotherapy administered with triple stem cell transplants, 20 rounds of radiation, and 10 rounds of oral chemotherapy.
Those exhausting treatments would later become a blessing as in April, 2008, Drew was officially declared in remission, where he remains. For the past six years, the family has been fundraising for others struggling with cancer.
"The students have been wonderful," said Kate Perschon. "Lives are definitely touched because of their generosity. Their leadership always impresses me."