Saints rally for cancer victim

St. Andrew’s School student Kelsi Smith, middle, is all smiles as she received strong support at a fundraiser at the school Oct. 6. She is photographed with several men on staff who got razed. Left-right, are Christian Collett, Ken Kosak, Smith, wellness coach Troy Johnston and vice-principal Carlo Perretta, who had his beard shaved off. Smith holds a bag of hair donated to charity by Johnston.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A high school student at St. Andrew’s School with cancer is extremely thankful for the love and support during a fundraiser at the school Oct. 6.

It’s awesome and it shows who much support we have from the school and community,” says Kelsi Smith, 16.

I’m proud of the school and I can’t wait to get back.”

Smith was diagnosed June 9 with osteosar- coma, the same cancer that struck local teen Josh Halverson and the famous late Terry Fox.

More than $3,000 is expected to be raised from the Cuts for Kelsi in the morning and Carnival for Kelsi in the afternoon.

We raised about $2,000 from the Cuts for Kelsi and another $1,000 from the Carnival for Kelsi,” said teacher Joanne Lasher, who organized the event.

When someone from the school needs our help, we come together as students and staff to lend whatever support we can.”

Smith had a knee replacement and prosthetic bone on Sept. 6 and continues chemotherapy treatment at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

We expect a full recovery and she will get full mobility of her leg back,” says her mother, Michelle Smith.

Final treatment is scheduled for the end of February.

Both were emotional at times during the fundraiser.

When you go through cancer and you get lots of support, it’s still an individual journey for the person and the family,” Michelle says.

When you see the great support from a small community, it’s very overwhelming.”

Kelsi says the experience has also expanded her network of friends and support.

You develop relationships with everyone in the school,” she says.

Carnival for Kelsi was held for kindergarten to Grade 6 students in the afternoon.

Long-time teacher Ken Kosak was shaved in Cut it for Kelsi. He was the loser after his donation jar collected the most donations. He raised $756.60, followed by Al Baird with $564, and Christian Collett with $265.20.

Wellness coach Troy Johnston lost both his locks on his head that he donated to charity and his beard.

Vice-principal Carlo Porretta also has a new look without his beard.

School principal Marc Lamoureux had the honours of being the barber.

Kelsi Smith is a Grade 11 student and the daughter of Rodney and Michelle Smith.


Kelsi Smith, left, talks with Cassidy Davies-Hunt, 9, a Grade 4 student who survived brain cancer that was diagnosed two years ago.
St. Andrew’s teacher Ken Kosak, middle, prepares to have his head shaved by principal Marc Lamoureux, right. Kelsi Smith stands at the left.

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