Dolby Elementary hosts pajama party to support cancer patient

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

Wearing pajamas to school is an opportunity few children will pass up. Helping raise money for a friend with cancer while

wearing pajamas is what students and teachers at Dolby Elementary did Wednesday for third-grader Roderick Christian.

The PJAMMIN for Kids with Cancer event is the second party the school has held for the elementary student who was diagnosed

with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

“The whole idea of wearing pajamas is

because Roderick wears them a lot at the hospital,” said third-grade

teacher Kate Valentine.

“What’s most important is letting him know we’re supporting him

and we’re not forgetting him and that we want him to return

to school.”

This is not the first time Christian has gone through this. Last year he was also diagnosed with cancer in his femur. After

a year’s worth of treatment, surgery and missing his second-grade classes he was considered cancer free. But when doctors

noticed spots on his lungs they found the cancer had returned.

Roderick’s mother, Brandy Christian, said this time her son will go through a more aggressive chemo treatment for 18 weeks

instead of the 30 he went through last year.

“I am just so grateful to God that we have our school as our second family,” she said. “They are an awesome family with love

and support while going through this process a second time; we’re not fighting this battle alone.”

When Roderick was going through treatment last year the school held a Rockin’ for Roderick party to help raise money for medical

expenses. This year’s event was also donation-based to help the family with financial needs. The amount raised totaled to

almost $3,000. Students also got the chance to Skype with Roderick while he was at the hospital.

“It was a collaborative idea trying to

come up with a way to raise money, PE teacher Michele McGee said. “He is

the most delightful

little boy — he has a smile on his face 24/7 and everybody is just

really excited about celebrating with him and supporting


Along with the student council members and teachers who helped sponsor the event a DJ from Deep South Productions volunteered

roll out music during the party. Athletes from McNeese have also signed sports equipment to send to Roderick as a gift.

Roderick is set to have surgery in

January, which will determine if the treatment has been decreasing the

cancerous cells.

But while this situation would be overwhelming for anyone

Roderick’s mother said that, just like last year, Roderick has continued

to focus on returning to school and seeing his friends who have

been supporting him this whole time.

“Roderick is a very outgoing little boy. He loves people. He’s very positive about his life. That’s what really keeps him

going through this process,” his mother said. “He loves school. That’s the only thing he told me he wants for Christmas —

to be cancer free to go back to school.”