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“Walk for Drew” raises money for local Salem boy

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Laurel Morrison and Shannon Fields

Staff writers

On September 24, 2011, RC held a fundraiser for Drew Bennett. Drew Bennett is a seven-year-old local Roanoke boy, who suffers from pseudo-obstruction. This is a rare disease in which he is born without a functioning stomach or small intestines. Bennett was diagnosed when he was only 2 years old with this incurable disease. He is currently 1 of 2 people reported with this disease in the world. For 24 hours of the day, Bennett is forced to carry a backpack around that pumps medicine and liquid nutrients into his torso. After enduring more than 15 surgeries, his medical bills estimate at $4 million. His family is overwhelmed with this financial debt, so the community is trying to help out.

RC puts forth an effort to be a part of the Salem community and helping one so close to home sparked interest in many RC students.

Other events such as yard sales and car washes have raise funds, but the Walk for Drew is planned to be the biggest fundraiser yet. The Students Interested in Health Career planned the walkathon, which is an organization of RC students.  The SIHC currently has 60 members and is continuing to grow; they sponsor activities and programs related to health. They set the goal of this event to raise $10,000. The goal would help the Bennetts put a dent in their extensive medical debt. RC and the local community contributed to help this deserving family.

Meg Picard ’15 said, “I love how both the town and college came together to help with this worthy cause. This is why I love Roanoke so much! I’m just glad I could help in any way.”

The Walk for Drew was held from 1-4 pm on the alumni field. This event was for both students and locals to help out Bennett’s family. Several RC students could be seen walking around campus for the fundraiser as music played in the background. All walkers got a blue, personalized bracelet for participating. Full of food, music, raffles, and games, the event really created the community feel. Overall, the fundraiser seemed to be very successful and may have reached the ambitious goal set.

You can still help Drew Bennett! If you would like to learn more about drew and the Bennett family or if you would like to donate, please visit prayfordrew.com.