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. (Rick Hickman / American Press)
Roderick Christian and his younger brother Braylen. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:07 PM
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 him.”
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.”
Posted By: Dolby Parent On: 6/3/2013
Title: Angel Roderick
It is sad to say that Roderick is now sweet angel in heaven. He will be greatly missed by all of his friends at Dolby