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NCMS seventh-grader fighting for her life

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A North Clay Middle School student is in the fight for her life.

Mercedes Compton was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in January and also recently suffered a stroke.

Compton, also a severe diabetic, is being treated at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, Indianapolis.

"We've raised money before to help a girl buy a motorized wheelchair," NCMS secretary/treasurer Sheri Yocom said. "So we decided to do it again for Mercedes."

To help the family with some medical bills and travel expenses to and from the hospital, a cotton candy fundraiser with the students has already taken place and with such a good response, Yocom said another would take place in the coming weeks.

For the North Clay staff, a silent auction was planned. Originally, only those working within the building were going to take part.

However, plans changed and now, all of the schools with the Clay Community Schools Corporation will be involved.

"Our staff and students always step up," Instructional Assistant Kim Reynolds said.

"Everyone is very willing to share and be supportive to help the family."

With the support of the corporation behind them, area businesses that have learned about the auction are also making donations as well as the parents and staff. Monetary donations are also being accepted to help the family.

Some of the businesses include Duke Energy, Sony DADC, Forest Park Golf Course, Yankee Rose, Crossroads Studio, Luxury Nails Salon, Razors, Tan Express, Sunshine Restaurant, The Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, Bucks House of Color and Dr. Ryan Ross DDS.

"Everyone has really stepped up," Yocom said. "It is so awesome to have that support and I am so proud of the parents and businesses that have donated."

Compton has been out of school since the end of January and her presence is being missed by her teachers.

"She has never met someone she didn't know," math teacher Russ True said.

"She is a wonderful girl who is full of life."

True remarked on her good nature and how even when she was a little down, it never took much for her to smile.

"In middle school, the emotions are up and down," he said. "Even when he had a bad day, she was always happy."

True, who is also diabetic, is worried because he knows how diabetes can complicate things.

"This is a lot for a seventh-grade student to handle," he said.

"But she is the type of person where she can keep her spirits up."

It is the community support for such a young girl and her family that reaffirms True's belief that Clay County is a wonderful place to live.

"I am very proud to see how people have pulled together," he said. "It makes me very proud to be associated with the community."

The deadline for donations is Thursday. Donations may be dropped off or mailed to North Clay Middle School, 3450 W. State Road 340, Brazil, Ind., 47834.

All checks should be made to North Clay Middle School.

For more information, call Yocom at 448-1530 Ext. 1015, or Kim Reynolds at the school at Ext. 1112.



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