Stronger than Cancer

Hickman students and staff support teacher Janna Fick by fundraising

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Senior Anna Rioux has been on a mission to raise money in honor of teacher Ms. Fick, who has been recently diagnosed with cancer. Rioux has been selling t-shirts reading “Stronger than Cancer” with #teamfick. Fick wasn’t aware that Rioux had been planning the fundraiser and that she was getting students and teachers together to surprise her in the commons with the shirts and money.

Rioux came up with the idea when in Fick’s class after hearing of her diagnosis.

“I wanted to find a way to support her and we had recently designed shirts for our AP projects so that’s what came to mind,” Rioux said.

Rioux is hoping the fundraising will make a difference.

“I’m hoping it will show her how many people love and support her and hopefully raise some money for any treatments or medical bills,” Rioux said.

But why a t-shirt to spread awareness and raise money? Rioux shared her thoughts.

“I thought this would be a good way to raise some money because by wearing them you could show your support,” Rioux said.

After noticing her work around Hickman in raising funds for Ms. Fick and being asked by Rioux to help with her task, Mr. Rodeman was eager and happy to help Rioux and thought her motivation was something others should model.

“To me it did a couple of things,” Rodeman said. “One, it was a nice gesture to Ms. Fick who is battling her second round of cancer, but really as a teacher, I thought for Anna to put herself out there and to say ‘I actually want to do something’ and to see how I can could have a very small role in supporting her doing that, what better way as a teacher can you help a student see the benefits of sticking your neck out there and trying something and doing something as opposed to just saying it would be a good idea if somebody did that.”

Rioux and  Rodeman helped rally teachers and sold and distributed the shirts to Hickman in order to fundraise for Fick, but also for something a little extra they had in store for the teacher.

On May 10, staff and students gathered in the commons in front of the main office all wearing their stronger than cancer #teamfick shirts to surprise Fick. When she came down the steps to see everyone, she was greeted with loud cheers from students and fellow faculty members.

“I was not expecting it at all,” Fick said. “It was overwhelming and it made me feel so happy and loved as this family of Hickman. It’s just an awesome place to be.”

Having the support of the Hickman staff and student family helps Fick push through the troubles of having cancer.

“It just helps with having the support,” Fick said. “Knowing that if I need something that someone is there, and their energy helps push you through each day and all the challenges you face on a daily basis.”

Fick is thankful for the fundraising for her illness lead by Rioux.

“It’s going to help obviously with expenses,” Fick said. “It just makes things a little bit easier.”

Rodeman was impressed with how the Hickman family came together for Fick.

“I think at the end of the day Ms. Fick was surprised which was great and it was just a giant group hug,” Rodeman said. “As cliché or corny as that sounds, I think what I’ve been impressed with is Hickman’s capacity for taking care of somebody when they’re down.”

Rioux successfully joined the students and staff of Hickman in a loving and supportive way to raise awareness for Fick’s illness and fight cancer together. As a Hickman family, we are stronger than cancer.