As Marcus Bolles faces treatment in Portland for the cancer in his abdomen, and a pending trip to New York for surgery, his classmates at John Jacob Astor Elementary School will miss the 7-year-old boy with the bright smile.
But to make that time away from his classmates easier, Marcus Bolles arrived at the school Thursday to place a monkey in his chair.
The “Monkey in My Chair” program was started by the parents of Chloe Watson Feyerherm, who died of cancer.Through the Love, Chloe Foundation and a partnership with The Cure Starts Now Foundation, the program provides a monkey kit for a preschool or elementary-aged child who is away from school because of a cancer diagnosis.
“Through the program, each child is provided with a monkey kit which includes a big stuffed monkey that takes their place in school when they are unable to be there,” the organization’s website states. “The kit includes the monkey with a backpack, a book to help teachers explain to students the situation their classmate is facing and how it affects them, a teacher companion guide, along with other items that can be utilized by the child and/or their classmates.”
The monkey also comes with an online component to help the sick child and his or her classmates stay connected through documents and photos.
The kits are sent at no cost to the families or hospitals. Donations help provide the kits.
For more on Monkey in My Chair or to donate, visitwww.monkeyinmychair.org