Yearbook staff supports one of its own

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Drew Timmons

Yearbook adviser Alex Hollis hands out T-shirts made for yearbook staffer MeKayla Gist. Gist is battling osteosarcoma.

Kinzie Sellars, Managing Editor

May 1, 2015: a day sophomore MeKayla Gist said she would never forget.

On that day, Relay for Life was held at Chapman High School.

As the lap began to start for all of those battling cancer, friends, family, teachers and administrators gathered around Gist to show her love and support.

Many showed support with the purple and gold T-shirts they were wearing.

On the shirts were the words, “I Walk for MeKayla” beside a yellow ribbon.

Gist was diagnosed with osteosarcoma this year and recently had to lose part of her leg because of it.

She has undergone chemotherapy as well.

Despite the challenges she has faced, she attended Relay for Life, where she was met with a sea of purple and gold.

The T-shirts were an idea by the yearbook staff of Chapman, which Gist is a part of.

Yearbook adviser Alex Hollis said that the T-shirt fundraiser was a way to show her support.

“She was part of the staff during the fall semester, so we wanted to do something to support her,” Hollis said.

Hollis said that he gives a lot of credit to senior Alex Batson because she put in a lot of effort to make it happen.

“When we came in Tuesday, Alex came in early to talk to me about doing T-shirts for Mekayla and then she got on the phone to find a company that could get them here for Relay by Friday,” Hollis said.

Sophomore Natalie Fowler said Hollis was a huge part of it.

“Hollis organized it all after we gave him the idea,” Fowler said.

The whole fundraiser was planned and made possible all in three short days. 150 T-shirts were sold.

Hollis, Batson and Fowler all think this was a way to support Gist and her family, but there is a message that they hope people will take from it also.

“I hope the message to MeKayla is that she has a lot of support,” Hollis said. “The message to others is when there is a worthy cause and people come together, good things can happen.”

“I just want people to understand how bad cancer is and that it’s not a joke,” Batson said. “Always keep smiling and be strong like MeKayla because even with all the pain she has been through, she has had a big smile on her face.”

Fowler wants people to know that support from people who care can make things a little easier.

“I hope the message people take from this is to always support because it’s a tough thing to go through” Fowler said. “With support from people who care about you, it makes it a little easier to get through a hard time.”