EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 27, 2013

'We want him to know that we're battling with him too'

Classmates, teachers wore purple on Andy's Day at Wetherbee School

LAWRENCE — A sea of purple invaded the Emily G. Wetherbee School on Friday, all in support of Andritti “Andy” Measamom.

Andy, 11, has been battling cancer since age 6. The illness went into remission for several years, but it came back this fall when doctors discovered that the boy with jet black hair and an infectious smile had four tumors on his brain and spine.

In addition to his family, Andy has found a lot of support from teachers and classmates at the Emily G. Wetherbee School, where he is a fourth grader.

The Helping Hands Charity Club and Andy’s teacher Cherilyn Donaghey organized Andy’s Day on Friday.

Instead of wearing uniforms, students paid $1 to wear purple shirts, pants, scarves, headbands and jerseys in Andy’s favorite color. Students and staff members also purchased purple bracelets for $1, while others donated $5, $10 and $20.

Friday morning, the line was out the door as students and their parents waited to buy bracelets. Students sold 150 purple bands, which ran out by mid-day. Members of the Enterprise Club at Wetherbee will make more to sell.

“It brought me to tears. It was really heart-warming because most people don’t even know who he is. It was a very special and unifying day for our school,” Donaghey said.

The school was able to raise $761, and will give Andy’s family gas cards for their many trips to Boston Children’s Hospital. Students will also make a fun basket for Andy including books and other items that he can use when he’s home from the hospital. The rest will be donated to St. Jude Hospital for Children.

“We want to make him feel happy and know he’s not alone. He is battling this illness and we want him to know that we’re battling with him too,” said Kelley Cuevas.

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