Above and Beyond: Students Buy Robot for Sick Classmate
By Linda Schmidt, Fox 5 NY
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) – Tyler Knurek, 13, would love nothing more than to be in school with his friends. Tyler has cancer, Hodgkins lymphoma, and has been undergoing treatments since December.
But his friends and classmates found a way for Tyler to be in school without physically being there.
Students at his school, St. Bartholomew’s in East Brunswick, New Jersey, came up with the idea of raising money to buy a robot called VGo.
Using his iPad at home, Tyler can maneuver a robot at school. He can also see and hear his classmates and teachers and they can see and hear him.
And using the robot, Tyler is also able to go on every class trip whether it’s to see a high school production of “Shrek” or visiting the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
“It helps me by making me feel part of them,” said Tyler.
Now, keep in mind it wasn’t the parents and teachers who decided to raise money to buy the robot and how to do it. It was these 12 and 13 year old children.
Most of these kids have been together since pre-K and it broke their hearts that their friend Tyler felt isolated and alone.
“We’re all like family. If someone gets hurt, we have to help them,” said Grace Brautigan.
Grace came up with the idea to design prayer cards and sell them.
Elizabeth Romage and Samantha Bell did the artwork and Tuler’s 7th-grade class wrote the prayers to heal their friend: “Dear God. Please help our friend Tyler. He is a great friend and an even greater person.”
“I just think about how hard it must be for him and I try to do things to make him feel better,” said Romage.
They were able to raise $8,000 in just two weeks.
The students now begin every day reciting the prayer they wrote for Tyler.
The children are constantly thinking of new ways to make Tyler’s day better.
They recently bought him an iPod Shuffle and downloaded songs that are happy and fun.
They have go above and beyond, showing that when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes anything is possible.