SUMNER,Neb. - The Sumner-Eddyville-Miller first grade class received ‘Colton’ Monkey in late August. The Monkey arrived with a backpack, storybook, teacher’s guide and various other items. The kits are sent out at no cost, but the child must be currently undergoing cancer treatment and be between the ages of 4 and 11.
The Monkey in my Chair program was started by The Love, Chloe Foundation in 2009. It helps kids stay connected with their classmates while they are away undergoing cancer treatments. The foundation was established in the memory of Chloe Feyerherm who battled diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. In 2011, the program partnered with ‘The Cure Starts Now Foundation’ to widen the reach of the program for the purposes of raising awareness and donations for the program and cancer cure research.
The Monkey is named the “Colton Monkey” in honor of Colton Eggleston, a six-year-old boy from Oconto who previously was an S-E-M student and who was diagnosed with Acute Monoblastic Leukemia in June of 2015.
The storybook is written by Chloe’s Mom (Heidi Feyerherm) and includes special drawings by Chloe’s Friends. It introduces the class to the Monkey and explains that they will find the Monkey coming to school when the child is home not feeling well and when at the doctor. It touches on the fact that medicine may make the child look different. The SEM 1st grade class is making sure that ‘Colton’ Monkey is enjoying school and behaving himself. Most importantly serving a reminder that while Colton Eggleston is away undergoing treatments that he is thinking of his friends at school and that the class has Colton in their minds and hearts.
When talking about Colton Monkey with Mrs. Barb Ibach, 1st grade teacher, she said that having the Monkey, “has been very exciting and she feels that it helps the kids feel very connected to Colton. She continued to say that the class talks about Colton on a regular basis. She feels that having Colton Monkey is extremely comforting to his classmates and makes the experience with Colton a little less scary.”
Dani Eggleston,Colton’s mother, learned of the program from Children’s Hospital in Omaha where Colton has been receiving his treatments.
A fundraising event, called Hoopin’ for Colton will be held to raise funds for his family and wishing him a Merry Christmas,Anderson said. “Please wear one of your Colton t-shirts to the South Loup girls’ basketball game against S-E-M on Tuesday (Dec, 15) in Sumner. There will be a few shirts available to purchase that evening, as well as some wristbands and sweatbands. Delicious gourmet cupcakes will also be available for purchase-a perfect treat, packaged for gift giving,” she said.
All proceeds from the sales of Colton items, the cupcakes and the halftime hoop shoot will go to the Eggleston family. There will be a donation box at the game, too. The junior varsity plays at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity at 7:00 p.m. Please attend and show your support for Colton Eggleston and his family!
For more information visit https://www.gofundme.com/caringforcolton.