Dora school rallies to support Lance Fletcher

By Sarah Meyer, PNT Staff Writer

DORA — Nearly all Dora school students, most of the teachers and several parents donned lime green “Hopping for Lance” T-shirts on Monday afternoon for a fun run.

Proceeds from the hour-long run will benefit Lance Fletcher, a third-grade student at Dora who has osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. He is being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Center in Memphis, Tenn.

Lance’s mother, Carol Fletcher, was at the fun run. She said she was “overwhelmed” by the support.

“It took a lot of community involvement to make this happen,” she said.

Lance is doing “very well” and is recovering from his third round of chemotherapy, Carol Fletcher said.

The Dora third-grader’s hair has fallen out, and his father, Joe, who is with him in Memphis, shaved his head for support.

“I think he’s doing really well with this,” said Lance’s sister, Lindsey, a fifth-grade student at Dora. “He’s pretty cool about it.”

Lindsey’s class raised the most money for the fun run — more than $2,500. She said she’s impressed with the fundraising efforts.

“It’s really nice of them to do,” she said.

Ethan Bilbrey, a junior at Dora and a member of Business Professionals of America, which organized the event, said the community has raised more than $16,000 to help the family.

Lance’s classmates said they felt bad when they learned he was sick, but raising money to help the family makes them feel good.

“We miss him,” said Mary Ella Caviness, his teacher, as she fought back tears when she described Lance losing his hair. “We’ve prayed a lot for him. I know the prayers of these kids are going to be heard more than anything else.”

The class sends a get well card every week and had a card drive that gathered more than 90 cards, Caviness said.

The school also has formed a “secret sisters” organization that periodically surprises Lindsey with gifts.

Organizers said several local businesses supported the fun run, including Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, Wal-Mart, C&S, Ag New Mexico and Yucca Telecommunications.

On the Net

To view Lance Fletcher’s Web page (decorated with frogs), visit www.caringbridge.org. Enter “lancefletcher.” You will be asked to register.

How to help

Donations can be made to the Lance Fletcher Fund at Portales National Bank.