Our village is strong

Thursday, January 18, 2018

We don’t think it is possible to reiterate enough times how amazing Greene County is. In our line of work, we often see the best and worst of people, and fortunately the best always shines through.

In recent years, our communities have continued to band together during the most trying of times. Most people have heard the old idiom, “It takes a village...” and our village is strong.

Cancer is terrifying, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. To have that nasty c-word affecting our youth is all the more difficult, and that’s where our village steps in.

Take note, we said village. Not villages. There are several little communities in Greene County, but when one needs help, everyone steps up as one.

Case-in-point, Madison Moore’s recent diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The 15-year-old is currently undergoing treatment at Riley Hospital for Children.

In a grand gesture last weekend, students from four Greene County schools stepped out onto the basketball floor to pray for her. Together. As one.

Moore’s story is just one of many we have seen in Greene County, some of which we are sure we haven’t even heard of yet. In a recent post on social media, Moore’s mother asked that while we are praying for her daughter to also pray for other local teens who have seen their own diagnoses. Can you imagine going through such trying times, but still worrying about others?

This isn’t the exception. It’s the rule. We see it often, and that kind of compassion makes it hard not to believe God is smiling down on our village.

Last September, the mother of a young cancer survivor coordinated the first local Pediatric Cancer Gala, titled Greene Goes Gold. The goal of the event was to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and to support families battling pediatric cancer.

The event was coordinated by Brittney Albright, whose young son, Carson, battled retinoblastoma when he was a toddler. She said the community gave her family so much when they were struggling, that she felt it was her turn to give back.

Again, the village turned up, donating more than $13,000 to the cause.

Savannah Boone was the guest of honor and speaker at the event. The 17-year-old Linton student was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. While she and her father, Joe, worked through her treatment, her hometown was rallying behind her with several fundraisers to help where possible.

Last July, Linton and Sullivan’s football teams banded together over a common cause -- helping their youth who need it. The major rivals came together to sell shirts for Boone, Linton teen Dawson Brown and the late Luke Jones, a Sullivan student who lost his battle to Embryonal Carcinoma just before the big game.

Brown also saw Linton and White River Valley schools come together to help support and raise funds in his battle with cancer. While the student was unable to play the drums due to a tumor in the bone in his elbow, students from both schools came together for the Drumming For Dawson campaign.

WRV student Billy Camden saw the graciousness of his community. The teen is battling a brain tumor, and in the fall of 2016, two of his teachers arranged for his wish to come true: riding around in a John Deere Gator.

What may have seemed like a small gesture for a week’s use of an all-terrain vehicle, meant the world to a teen fighting for his life, as well as his family.

These are just a few examples of our village coming together, effectively raising our children to be compassionate, loving people who will go on to do great things.