SKYLINE, Mo. – Doing what tight-knit communities do, folks in the Skyline School District and surrounding areas have come together to offer comfort and support to the second-grader who is battling cancer.
Lyndsey Morales was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in June. One month later, doctors removed one of her kidneys.
She’s now in her 21st week of weekly chemotherapy treatments.
Enrolling at Skyline halfway through her first-grade year, Lyndsey’s time at Skyline Elementary has been short, but her strength has made a lifetime of impact.
“We can’t change that fact, but we can change what she sees every day and her life right now,” says Jason Pursley, Principal of Skyline Elementary.
With the help of Lyndsey’s family, Pursley led fundraising efforts across the district by offering incentives.
“We had hat day, homework passes, little stuff like that, but people were sending in hundreds.”
The word quickly spread to nearby communities like Mack’s Creeks and Fair Grove, raising a total of $20,000 in just two weeks.
“The first deposit I had to take a wagon to the bank. The second deposit I had to take a dolly. You just know, at that point, this is going to be big.”
“I was speechless. I was crying over the phone when Mr. Pursley told me,” said Lyndsey’s mom Erin Morales.
The efforts lead up to a special assembly this Friday dedicated to Lyndsey.
With the entire school watching, Lyndsey was serenaded by her favorite character, signing her favorite song – ‘Let It Go” by Elsa from the movie Frozen.
The second-grader then got the opportunity to shave her principal’s head.
Following Mr. Pursley’s buzz cut, it was the student’s turn to shaved.
“Yeah, there ain’t nobody on our team that tough,” Senior at Skyline Jaytin DeFreece.
“I think she deserves it for all she’s been through,” adds fellow-classman Kourt Cheek.
A total of 14 football players from Skyline, and four more from Fair Grove will have a new look at tonight’s game.
The conference rivals will go head-to-head tonight, with Skyline fans wearing pink, and Fair Grove donning purple – Lyndsey’s favorite colors.
“We want to come support the community and make sure we’re here for them. Even if they might be a rival during the football game, but outside of football, we’re here for them,” says Senior at Fair Grove Lucas Crutcher.
The soft-spoken second grader had a short message for the hundreds of supporters who gathered thousands for her cause – “Thank you.”