PCMS fifth graders help classmate's family

Monday, January 13, 2014
The class is pictured above with their teachers Mrs. Figge (back, left) and Rebecca Pingel (Row 3, left), and Ryan and his parents Bruce and Lara Manche and brother Derrick (standing, center).

Students in Mrs. Amy Figge's fifth grade class at Perry County Middle School recently presented over $1,000 in cash and gas cards to the family of Ryan Manche, a classmate who is battling a rare blood disorder.

"I am so proud of my students," Figge said.

"They sold Kona Ice and bracelets to raise this money to hep their friend Ryan. He has a rare blood disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura or TTP.

"In TTP, blood clots form in small blood vessels throughout the body. This means that Ryan must have a blood transfusion every 2 weeks. He's been doing this since he was 1 year old."

Ryan's classmates planned the fundraiser as a surprise for Ryan. They wanted to help defray the expense of traveling to and from St. Louis, where Ryan receives the transfusions.

During the presentation on the last day of school before Christmas break, each student presented a $25 gas card to Ryan's mom Lara. She delighted the children by allowing them to cover her in gift bows. Figge also presented a check for over $500 to the family.

"We want to thank all of the PCMS and Perryville High School students and staff who bought Kona Ice and made donations to help us surpass our $1,000 goal," Figge said. "Our principal, Mrs. Velda Haertling also donated a Dress For Charity day to the cause. That's one of the best things about District 32 -- we're a family that helps one another."

Ryan said he appreciated his classmates' efforts, but was also embarrassed by all the attention he's been receiving. His mother tearfully thanked his teacher and classmates.

"You are the kindness, sweetest and best group of young people I've ever known," she said. "I'm so proud of every one of you, and my family is so grateful for your help."

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