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Tag Archive | "DIPG"

Fundraiser for Ricker brothers


 

Ricker brothers: Brison (left) and Preston (right)

Ricker brothers: Brison (left) and Preston (right)

May 7

There will be a fundraiser for Brison and Preston Ricker on Sunday, May 7, at Patterson Ice Arena, 2550 Patterson Ave SE, in Grand Rapids.

The fundraiser will run from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $5 per person with free skate rental.

There will be food provided for purchase by Classic Kelly’s restaurant, as well as silent auction items and bake sale items, with all proceeds going to the Ricker family.

On January 23, 2016, Brison was diagnosed with an incurable and inoperable brain tumor known as DIPG, which also comes with a zero percent survival rate. However, with alternative treatment from the Burzynski Clinic (which is currently running $20,000 per month) Brison is beating the odds! His strength, determination and strong faith in God to not let cancer win is truly inspiring to everyone.

On December 23, 2016, just 11 months following Brison’s diagnosis, Preston was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer that also had spread to his lymph nodes. Preston had surgery on January 9 to remove the thyroid and affected lymph nodes, followed by radiation treatment. Like his big brother, he also has the strength, determination and faith in God to beat this.

You can follow their story on Facebook by liking the page Team Rickerstrong, and you can donate at gofundme.com/rickerstrong.

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Benefit raises over $2000 for Ricker family


 

Brison headed back to Texas for more treatment

Classic Kelly’s raised over $2000 for the Ricker family at a spaghetti dinner benefit Sunday evening. Photo from Classic Kelly’s facebook page.

Classic Kelly’s raised over $2000 for the Ricker family at a spaghetti dinner benefit Sunday evening. Photo from Classic Kelly’s facebook page.

By Judy Reed

Classic Kelly’s Family Restaurant put on a spaghetti dinner benefit for the family of Brison and Preston Ricker Sunday night, and raised over $2200 to help them with the medical costs of fighting cancer.

The restaurant put on the benefit during the evening dinner hours, and donated 100 percent of the proceeds to the Rickers. All the employees at the restaurant donated their time to the cause. Dinners were sold for $10 each.

The next fundraiser will be the March can drive at Meijer in Cedar Springs on Monday, 6, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Brison was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor called DIPG a year ago, and his younger brother Preston was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December. Preston has had surgery and other therapy, and Brison has been undergoing alternative cancer treatments since last summer, after his oncologist here said there was nothing more they could do. Those treatments are $17,000 per month, and not covered by insurance.

Brison had showed signs of getting better and feeling better, and his family was hopeful that his latest MRI’s would show that progress. However, according to Brison’s mom, Kim Ricker, the latest spinal MRI shows progression, with several spots on the lining of his brain, and extensive nodular enhancing metastatic disease along his spine. Doctors here had been giving him his Avastin treatment free of charge, but will not do that now, since they don’t believe it is working. That will be another $7,000 per month the family will need to pay. The doctors here have offered full brain and spinal radiation, but Kim said that is not an option they are considering because of the great harm involved with radiation.

They will be traveling back to Texas next week, where Brison will be started on an additional Antineoplaston treatment.

To donate to the Ricker family through their gofundme page, go to https://www.gofundme.com/rickerstrong.

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Ricker family fundraisers


The Ricker Family

The Ricker Family

Various groups are putting on fundraisers over the next couple of weeks to help pay for medical bills for two teen brothers in our community that are battling cancer: Brison and Preston Ricker. Brison has an inoperable brain tumor (DIPG) and Preston recently had surgery for thyroid cancer. They are the sons of Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township. These are the ones we know about:

Varsity basketball fundraiser

FEB. 17: Please join the Cedar Springs Girls and Boys Basketball programs this Friday, February 17, as they host Forest Hills Central in a #rickerstrong game. Many activities are planned for the evening, which starts at 5:30 p.m. with the boys game. Please pack these stands and bring your wallets as we come together to raise money for this awesome family that is battling cancer! We will have a 50/50, raffling off these fabulous corn hole boards that Steve Elliston made and painted by hand and donated, as well as some half time shooting. It is also Senior Night-the last night these senior boys and girls will suit up and play in the Red Hawk gym.

FFA Silent Auction

FEB. 17-24: The FFA at Cedar Springs High School is holding a series of fundraisers for the Ricker family, in conjunction with National FFA week. The first is a silent auction at both Family Farm and Home and Quality Farm and Fleet, and starts this Friday, February 17 and runs until February 24. Several businesses have donated items, and the FFA will also include some of their own homemade maple syrup and pancake mix in the baskets. They hope to have a couple of tables set up at each store, so stop in at both stores and bid on your favorite items.

Movie at the Kent Theatre: Miracles from Heaven

FEB. 22: The FFA is sponsoring the movie “Miracles from Heaven” at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, February 22, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $3. All proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of concession sales will go to the Ricker family. A donation jar will also be set up for anyone wishing to donate more to the family’s medical expenses. The movie, starring Jennifer Garner, is based on the true story of a young girl who was miraculously cured from her illness.

Spaghetti dinner 

FEB. 26: Classic Kelly’s Family Restaurant, 356 N. Main Street, Cedar Springs, is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Ricker family on Sunday, February 26, from 6-8:30 p.m. They will provide either a sit down or take out dinner for $10 each, with all proceeds going to the Ricker family. #Rickerstrong t-shirts will also be available to buy that night.

Dinner at Culver’s

FEB. 28: The FFA is holding a fundraising dinner for the Rickers at Culver’s of Comstock Park, located at 4280 Alpine, on Tuesday, February 28, from 5-30-8 p.m. Ten percent of proceeds will go to the Ricker family.

Other things the FFA is doing to support the Ricker family include selling bracelets at the high school that say  “Farming for a cause #rickerstrong” and running a “Kiss the Pig” contest in classrooms. For the Kiss the Pig contest, 24 piggybanks have been set up in various classrooms. According to teacher Larry Reyburn, the top five classrooms that collect the most change will win, and those lucky teachers will get to kiss a baby pig supplied by the FFA. Paper money doesn’t count, so if they don’t want to kiss the pig, they can stuff the piggyback with dollar bills. Fun stuff! FFA students Heather Beverwyk and Kate Hall have been in charge of organizing the current FFA fundraisers for the Ricker family.

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Soccer teams raise funds for teen with cancer


Brison being pushed out on to the field during the event. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

Brison being pushed out on to the field during the event. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

Brison Ricker smiles as he sees his teammates lined up holding signs that spell out Rickerstrong#one at Tuesday’s fundraising game between Greenville and Cedar Springs. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

Brison Ricker smiles as he sees his teammates lined up holding signs that spell out Rickerstrong#one at Tuesday’s fundraising game between Greenville and Cedar Springs. Photo by K. Alvesteffer/R. LaLone.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs and Greenville Varsity Soccer teams might be rivals on the field, but they were teammates for a cause Tuesday evening, October 4, as they raised money for medical treatment for Cedar Springs teen Brison Ricker, who suffers from DIPG, an inoperable brain tumor.

At this time last year, Brison was a freshman playing for the Varsity Red Hawks, and was voted offensive player of the year. He was diagnosed in January with the tumor.

“It was an amazing night and I’m so glad Brison was feeling well enough for our family to be there,” said Brison’s mom, Kim Ricker. “It was incredible how many people came out to support Brison, the stands were full of people and love. We are so grateful to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to be there, and extra grateful for all the people who volunteered and worked hard to make it such a successful night.”

It was the annual youth soccer night, combined with the fundraising event, so it was nicknamed the #Rickerstrong Game. “The high school soccer parents, along with help from the Student Leadership Council and the Athletic Leadership Council, promoted the event to try to bring in a record crowd and student section to cheer on the boys in their game against Greenville High School,” explained parent Barb Dreyer. “We chose this game to have this event because Brison Ricker played soccer with several of the boys from the Greenville team so it meant a lot to them to be able to help raise money for the family also.”

“We sold T-shirts, cotton candy, glow necklaces, balloons and had a huge auction to help raise money for the family,” explained Dreyer. Greenville and Cedar Springs teams had a pop can drive challenge to see who could bring in the most cans. “Although Greenville brought in a ton of cans, Cedar Springs won because this community is just amazing!” remarked Dreyer. “People who didn’t even go to the game dropped off their cans at the high school anyway. We had to bring in a second trailer to collect them all.”

Both communities helped bring in donations and worked together to raise $4748.20 for the Ricker’s accumulating medical bills, which doesn’t include all the cans. “We also collected an astronomical number of cans that we will return soon to add to that total,” said Dreyer. She said she thinks it could be at least another $1,000.

Brison’s medical bills for treatment are around $17,000 per month. Conventional treatments were not working, and his doctor felt there was nothing more they could do, so the Rickers sought out an alternative treatment for Brison, and he has seen improvement on the protocol.

Dreyer said Coach Kyle Avink gave a touching speech after the national anthem on how cancer has affected every person in some way these days, that we all know someone who has battled, is currently fighting or lost their battle with cancer. Then after a moment of silence they had a balloon release in Brison’s honor.

It was evident that Brison enjoyed the night. When the team lined up on the field with each holding a letter spelling out Rickerstrong #one, a big smile spread across his face.

“I have not seen Brison smile so much in a long time!” remarked Kim. “He was so proud of how hard his team played and that they took home a win. He was especially excited for his best friend Derek Egan who took home the rickerstrong boots last night. He left it all on the field and earned them, well deserved!”

Kim said that Brison will have another MRI next week to see how well the treatment is working. She said that they also now have a couple of doctors helping with wound care. The steroids that he was taking tore his skin apart.

“These wounds are still so painful and are the only thing holding him back right now from pushing hard like he so badly wants to, to gain his strength and mobility back,” explained Kim. “Once these are healed we have no doubt he will be out of his wheelchair and walking in no time! He can’t wait to run down a soccer field again!”

If you’d like to help Brison heal and return to the soccer field, there are several opportunities coming up to do so. The next can drive held by Team Brison will be Monday, October 10, at Meijer in Cedar Springs. They are usually in the early evening. See the Team Brison Facebook page for details. Also, next Saturday, October 15, is a big event at Skinner Field from noon to 5 p.m.—a music festival with food, fun and games to help raise funds for Brison. See page 2 for details, or check out the Team Brison facebook page. You can also make a direct donation by visiting Brison’s gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/brisonricker.

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