• Family Focus: Students dye hair blue to support boy with cancer

    By: Natalie Pasquarella


    CONCORD, N.C. - Students and teachers at Cox Mill Elementary in Concord Friday rallied around a classmate fighting a rare cancer in his neck.

    STORY: Saturday Spotlight: Praying for Elijah

    If you would like more information and to help, please visit Prayers for Elijah's Facebook page.

    They dyed their hair blue to show support for fourth-grader Elijah Aschbrenner.

    Chemotherapy caused his hair to turn white so his mother let him dye it blue.

    His classmates noticed, followed suit and started, “Go Blue for Elijah Day.”

    "To encourage him and show their support (we) decided we're going to do the same thing,” Kimberly Stiffel. “In fact, this was a student-initiated and student-planned event."

    "If you're the only one person out of tons of people, you kind of feel a little nervous in front of other people,” said student Caleb Sprouse. “So, we just came up with blue hair."

    "It is impressive that they actually thought of me and worked together to create blue day," Elijah said.

    He and his mother Becky Aschbrenner said the past year has been rough going in and out of the hospital to have surgery on his neck.

    Elijah has been through physical therapy and has worn a brace for four-and-a-half months.

    They are grateful for the support.

    "I'm speechless because I never in a million years would have imagined that a community would pull together like they have,” his mother said. “It's just heartwarming."

    "They're showing ginormous faith and support in me and if they didn't have that, I'd still be in the hospital right now," Elijah said.

    He will have a scan in a couple weeks to see if he is cancer-free and doctors will decide if he can take off the brace.

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