Students are collecting the drinks to honor two former classmates.
WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – David Perdue Elementary is collecting meal supplements like Boost and Ensure to honor former students Aiden Rozier and McKenzie Brooks.
“You talk about what teachers can do for students, but you never really think about what a student can do for you,” Principal Andy Payne said. “What Aiden and McKenzie did for our school is just so much, and people deal with cancer every day in their lives. We’re doing this in their honor. We’re doing it in their memory, and we’re doing it full force.”
McKenzie Brooks was in fourth grade at David Perdue when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Her mother, Michelle Brooks, says her daughter had a beautiful spirit that touched everyone.
“She smiled, she loved to dance, she loved to sing, she was a gymnast, and when she smiled she could light up a room,” Michelle said.
When her daughter would receive cancer treatments, she was usually too depleted to eat. That’s when drinks like Boost and Ensure came in handy.
“After her treatments, she gets weak and wouldn’t eat,” she said. “And so this is like a supplement meal for her or any child or any patient.”
Aiden Rozier was also at Perdue but as a fifth grader. His father, Randall Rozier, says Aiden didn’t like to drink the supplements, but he knows Aiden would have been happy to help anyone going through cancer treatments.
“He was always willing to do anything for anybody that had cancer, whatever it took he would do it, it didn’t matter what it was,” Randall said. “He would do his best. And this would be a big honor to him just to know that he is a part of all of this.”
All of the donations are taken to the Houston Healthcare Cancer Care Center across the street from the school. The supplement drive has been collecting donations for three years and has donated more than 3,000 bottles so far. Staff at the Cancer Center say the donations help those in need.
“We have a place in my office where they can come and get some,” Pateient Navigator Ashley Jarrard said. “They normally are only allowed two or three little bottles, so this will be super helpful. We can probably start giving a little bit more.”
Principal Payne says the school doesn’t have a particular goal but wants to collect as much as possible to honor Aiden and McKenzie.
“That’s all we want to do is give back to the community,” Payne said. “It’s not about us. It is about them. It’s about Aiden. It’s about McKenzie. It’s about the people who are living every day to put a smile on their face.”
As of Thursday morning, the school has collected 655 bottles for the Cancer Center. They will collect bottles until Monday, August 9. If you’d like to donate, just drop off cases of Boost, Ensure, Glucerna or Pediasure at the front office of David Perdue Elementary School, which is located at 115 Sutherlin Dr #2223 in Warner Robins.