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Support for 7th Grader

Rivalries between a few local school districts have been set aside to support one 7th grader at Forest Hills.

Last month, 12-year-old Julius Cole was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma a rare form of childhood cancer.

“My head hurts a lot. My stomach hurts a little bit,” Julius said.

His parents say he’s been feeling down in the dumps lately, but this week, his classmates at Forest Hills supported him.

Teachers and students swapped their green and gold for blue to lift his spirits wearing his favorite color.

“He feels like a little celebrity. He hates the reason why he feels like that everybody’s just cheering him on and fighting for him,” said his mom, Ashley Hughes.

It wasn’t just his school.

Westmont Hilltop students and teachers also had a day this week where they dressed in blue.

“It’s not always just academics or athletics. It’s also about being good people,” said Lynn Clement, Principal at Westmont Hilltop.

So did Windber Area School District participating in a dress down day.

Julius says seeing different schools come together just for him was something he would’ve never expected.

“It felt really weird, because why have a different school doing stuff for somebody that goes to one school?” Julius said.

But, they wanted to put their rivalries aside to support him.

“For the first time, I’m not viewing it as this school and that school – I’m viewing it as a community,” said Ashley.

Even the Stone Bridge in Johnstown was lit up in blue this week for Julius, leaving a powerful message of what happens when we all come together.

There will be a basket party for his family on December 13th at the St. Michael’s Sportsman Club.

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