ER staff raise more than $1,200 for student

Faculty and staff raise more than $1,200 for kindergarten student
Posted on 11/02/2020
Ryker donation

Teachers and staff in East Rochester are raising money by dressing down! 

Every Tuesday, teachers and staff are encouraged to participate in the “pay to wear jeans day,” with the money raised going to a good cause. The first donation recipient was kindergarten student Ryker Heitsman.

Ryker was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in January 2020. Ryker has been trying his best to win his fight with cancer, having most recently been back to the hospital in September with an infection. Throughout everything, he has been working remotely to keep up with his kindergarten lessons. 

Teachers and staff donated money from the “pay to wear jeans day” collection to Ryker and his mother (who is an ERUFSD alum) last school year. Ryker’s mom, Christine has been trying her best to keep up with Ryker’s appointments, transfusions and injections during the last 10 months. The single mother has been out of work in order to remain by Ryker’s side. 

East Rochester Teacher Assistant Sharon Smith had Ryker in her Primary Project program last year and has kept in touch with him and his mother throughout their journey, continuing to virtually connect with Ryker each week. Mrs. Smith says Ryker is a trooper and faces his fears every time he goes to Golisano Children’s Hospital for treatments. She says he misses his friends and hopes to be back soon, as he continues to get well. 

This year, faculty and Staff raised more than $1,200 throughout November to support Ryker and his family in his battle. The ER community hopes the money collected during the fundraiser will help with any medical bills the family accrues during his fight with cancer.

Anybody who would like to donate to Ryker’s family can purchase a #RykerHStrong t-shirt, here. The family receives proceeds from every purchase.