WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 27, 2010, 08:19 AM

First grade class learns a valuable lesson while taking care of one of their own

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A first grade class at Longfellow Elementary in North Fargo is learning some great things about taking care of one of their own. One of their classmates is in treatment for leukemia, but even when he is gone, those first graders make sure he is included in everything they do. It is the story of Cameron Bye and his friends.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

“We have some signs that seasons are changing.”

In Mrs. Speral's first grade classroom, there are some valuable lessons being learned this fall not found in any textbook or teachers manual.

CATHY SPERAL1st Grade Teacher: “I've never had a child in 32 years that I have gone thru this with so this has been a good part of the curriculum.”

6-year old Cameron Bye is in treatment right now, taking chemotherapy for leukemia. There are days he just can't make it to class.

“Every where we go, the monkey goes.”

And so that is where this little monkey comes in the picture. It's part of a national program. When Cameron is missing, the monkey goes in his chair, and everywhere else with the students. Field trips, gym class, the students can write in a journal to Cameron.

CAMERON BYE1st Grader: “And they send home a photo album and this notebook and they can write notes to me. So I know what is going on.”

Today, Cameron's first grade friends all wore Team Shirts.

“Stick it to cancer. Team Cameron.”

This little hockey player sure appreciates all the concern from his classmates.

LOGAN SOKOLOFSKYClassmate: “Probably just think about him when he is gone or something.”

TIM PETERSONClassmate: “Cameron, I kind of play with him on the playground.”

The kids have asked a lot of questions, some brutally honest, but the caring and concern that comes from their hearts amazes veteran teachers.

“This is, if you are going to have anything like leukemia or anything like that, this is the place to heal.”

When school started this fall, staff from Roger Maris Cancer Center came to the school to talk with the students about Cameron's cancer. Friends and family are hosting a benefit for Cameron. It will be held November 20th at the East Grand Forks Eagles.