ALBANY, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE 9/27/29:
Much like the ancient Greek warriors who the Alexander Spartans take their name from, the Albany, Ohio, community is fighting tirelessly for Bryana and her family. Businesses have shared their profits, and sports teams have held fundraisers.
But even more impressive is the robot that allows Bryana to keep up with her schoolwork in real-time during the four months she’s out of school receiving treatment. It’s a joint effort from Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Alexander High School.
And the Alexander soccer team held a raffle with all kinds of prizes.
“Ohio University’s basketball team has donated like an autographed basketball, we had Rocky Boots donate several items, Matthew’s Insurance has donated a really cool cooler, there are some people that have made some handmade items, and some school organizations have put together some baskets that are raffling. Just the support from the community has been outstanding,” said Alexander Soccer Coach Kirk Crow.
While the community response is larger than life, Bryana is doing her part to beat the disease.
“I go through this cycle that really puts me down and I get fevers sometimes which then puts me in the hospital over the weekend, but I fight through it so that I can come back and like be a part of anything that I can,” said Wallace.
Aside from occasionally feeling down, Bryana is managing to keep a positive attitude.
“It’s a crappy situation, but this is nothing she can’t handle. Cancer definitely picked the wrong girl to mess with on this one,” said Bryana’s boyfriend, Austin Shields.
And the community’s support has certainly helped.
“My family and I are so grateful for everything that’s going on. We have, a big thank you to the soccer players because they’re always texting me and asking me how I am, they’re a huge support through it all,” said Wallace.
The Wallace’s are also thankful for the financial support.
“I appreciate all of it. It’s helped so much with costs and food and with gas and everything. It’s helped with so much,” said Wallace.
“It’s awesome. It’s crazy to see how many people have come together as a whole and just… it’s heartwarming. I think it helps her as well cause she knows that she’s got, well we use the term, an army, got the whole village behind us and everything. It’s amazing,” said shields.
And there’s more to come. A 5k is planned for October 6th, and Zonez in Athens is selling t-shirts with the slogan “Rise-Up-4-Bry,” with the all the profits from those sales going to the Wallace’s.
“No words can truly express how much we appreciate everything that’s been going on. And like how truly grateful we are for everything,” said Wallace.
Bryana is in stage 2A of Hogkins Lymphoma, but her doctors think she’ll make a full recovery.She said they think once she’s cancer free, she can get back to cheering and running cross country.
Alexander High School community members were able to raise $4315 off of Monday night's raffle alone. Combined with donations taken at the soccer game, they raised over $4,500.
More fundraisers are planned for the Wallace family in the near future, including a 5k run on October 6th.
ORIGINAL STORY 9/23/19:
Community members around Alexander High School in Athens County are rallying behind a student who is battling cancer.
16 year-old Bryana Wallace was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma on August 15th of this year and has to stay home from school for four months for treatment.
The Spartan community has responded by fundraising thousands of dollars for Wallace family.
Monday night, the Alexander soccer team held a fundraiser for Bryana where they took donations and held a raffle. And unusually, they had cheerleaders and the marching band come out for extra spirit.
“It’s a community where if you’re a Spartan and you need help, the Spartans are going to step up and help you. And Bryana’s a great kid. She’s an active member of the community, multiple sport athlete, active in academics as well. Great kid. And the community has just wanted to come together and support her as she battles this,” said Alexander Boys Soccer Coach Kirk Crow.
Bryana will be returning to school using a robot controlled by an iPad from her home, which was made possible due to help from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University.
She is expected to make a recovery.
“It’s a crappy situation, but this is nothing she can’t handle. Cancer definitely picked the wrong girl to mess with on this one,” said Austin Shields, Bryana’s boyfriend.