Brandywine Elementary raises record amount of money for student recovering from brain surgery
NILES, Mich. --- Brandywine Elementary raised a record amount of money after throwing a fundraiser in honor of a sixth grade student recovering from emergency brain surgery.
Students dressed up in the colors red or orange, some even opting for sportswear on Thursday to show support for 12-year-old Izaak Baiz.
The fundraiser is a part of “Cattitude”, a tradition at Brandywine. The school raises money on periodic Cattitude days designated to save up money for a student or family during a time of need.
“Cattitude” days are spirit days where students donate a dollar in participation and can range from ‘Break a Rule Day’ to ‘Hat Day’.
On Wednesday, the Cattitude day at Brandywine was in honor of Izaak Baiz.
Baiz is recovering from emergency brain surgery after a scan revealed that he had an infection in his brain and his brain had shifted to the right by 1 centimeter due to all of the pressure.
It was originally thought that Baiz had a sinus infection, but the spreading infection actually began with a strep infection, according to Nichole Baiz, Izaak’s mother.
“When I heard that he was in the hospital, I almost cried when my friend told me,” said Davion Whiting, a sixth grade student.
Baiz had visited his normal doctor, urgent care and even the ER, but to no avail. Baiz became overwhelmed by the pain and could not even say his name to his mother, according to Nichole Baiz.
Baiz has been showing signs of improvement in the hospital, even moving portions of the right side of his body and speaking out loud for the first time since the operation.
Classmates at Brandywine made posters and sported Baiz’s favorite colors to show support.
“For me, it’d be like a day for him, so I washed my shirt and put on a red shirt just to support Izaak and I brought in $10 for his family,” said Whiting.
Baiz is an athlete and can usually be found with a ball in his hand, according to family and friends.
“He’d rather be back by March because that’s when baseball starts,” said Tim Boger, Prinicpal.
Family, friends and teachers described Baiz as a funny, kind student.
“Izaak is Izaak,” said Boger. “There’s only one.”
Classmates anxiously await Baiz’s arrival back at school, but until then they are not going to let him forget that he is not alone.
“Brandywine has always been a community that’s come together no matter what the situation is,” said Lynn Mickiewicz, Special Ed Teacher.
“Here this is a big family and not that everyone always gets along all of the time, but when it comes down to it we try to take care of each other,” said Boger.
Students of all grade levels proudly showed off their spirit wear and made it known that they are all in ‘Fighting Izaak’s’ corner.
“To see kids come through, to see parents help these kids…to show them, you know, supporting their fellow student it really makes my heart very happy,” said Mickiewicz.