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Forest Hills students raising $100k for cancer research

1:12 AM, Jan 26, 2013   |    comments
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Forest Hills Central students raising $100k for cancer research

FOREST HILLS, MI (WZZM) -- A group of students at Forest Hills Central High School had a dream three years ago to help fight cancer.

The teenagers' goal -- when they started the eighth grade -- was to raise $100,000 for the Van Andel Institute by the time they graduate.

The girls have raised $65,000 so far, and they hoped to raised at least $5,000 more at Friday night's "Purple Community" event, the girls and boys basketball games.

What they did was raise the spirits of Brandon and Kelly Greer.  The couple's their little girl, Abigail, is battling terminal brain cancer.

"She's gone through 55 radiation treatments," said her father, Brandon.

Neck burns and and tired eyes show a girl who is fighting a true battle -- a relapse of brain cancer has spread to her spine.

"If we can save anybody an ounce of what we've been through, it's worth it," said Greer.

Brandon Greer is a teacher in Forest Hills Public Schools, a district with four junior who are on their way to raising $100,000 for cancer research.

Bella Fiorenzo, Mariah Otolski and Sydney Vinton started their initiative with VAI in eighth grade, and Allie Wittenbach joined in the following year.

"We were so touched that they wanted to put a face to cancer," said Greer.

"It's something really tough to watch someone go through, but I wanted to help on this project because it has such a postitive effect on something so negative in so many people's lives," said Wittenbach.

Wittenbach's life has also been impacted -- her mother was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, and it's the reason she wanted to join these girls to find a way to fight it.

"I think this cause, in general, just brings people together and brings like the student section and the parents here for one common cause," she said.

For this game, there was one little girl that brought everyone to their feet.  Allie and her friends dedicated the game to Abby, knowing she might not see another game one day.

"And now we found out it's incurable," said Brandon Greer.

Radiation will hopefully buy the Greer's six more months with their daughter, precious time to build memories like this one.

"Today's a great day," said Greer.

For more on how you  can help donate to Van Andel Institute's Purple Community.

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