Students and faculty at Sweetwater High School have become very familiar with a devastating disease. In recent years, two students have been diagnosed with childhood cancer.
Jacob Standridge first learned he had a rare type of bone cancer, osteosarcoma, at age 15.
“This isn’t a curse; this is a gift so I can tell people what happened to me, and spread what God’s done for me.”
Now cancer-free, Standridge is a college student and studying to be a pediatric oncology nurse.
Sweetwater sophomore Amiyah Visage is also a cancer survivor. She is in remission after battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to kids,” said Principal David Watts. “But it did, and I think it really opened the eyes of a lot of our students and our faculty, and even me, that this could come home to you, right here in Sweetwater.”
In honor of Standridge and Visage, Sweetwater High School raised about $1,800 during the past week. At Friday night’s football game, yellow ribbons marked the field, and players wore helmets donning the same image.
Just before kickoff, the school and the cancer survivors presented a check to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s oncology department.
“It is a token toward saying, ‘we believe in what you do and we appreciate what you do for our kids,'” Watts said.
Following the presentation, Standridge and Visage led the crowd in a balloon release.
“Makes me happy to be a part of this town and community,” Standridge said.