Benefit helps 4-year old boy battling leukemia - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Benefit helps 4-year old boy battling leukemia

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FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- Blake Rickert is four years old. But he's endured the type of health battles most children never encounter.

Blake was diagnosed with Burkitt's Leukemia in January. He's since undergone six chemotherapy treatments -- one introductory treatment, four full-strength cycles of chemotherapy and one "maintenance" treatment, his mom said.

Blake's Mom, Jill, and father, Kevin, were on hand Sunday at Atomic Koi for a benefit held in their son's honor.

Blake, who will undergo one last, maintenance round of chemotherapy next month, was also in attendance.

Jill Rickert said that last treatment should be the end of the Blake's battle with cancer.

"It's a very rapid growing cancer and it's pretty rare," she said.

"But we're also staying positive that it's a very curable form of cancer," Jill Rickert said. She said Blake's body should be able to gradually build up it's immune system to full strength following the final round of treatment.

"He's so tough and so strong," she said. "We're very proud of him."

Sunday's benefit was organized by a group of Rickert family friends. Atomic Koi donated all proceeds from the event to the family. Money was also raised through a silent auction and raffle sales. Almost everything was donated.

"It's just been amazing how many people have opened up and just been so willing to help," said Tina Miller, who helped organize the benefit.
"I thought that would be the hardest part, asking the community for donations," Miller said. "But the support has been overwhelming."

Most of the money raised will help the Rickert family pay for Blake's medical bills. His prescription medications are expensive and his chemotherapy treatments required pricey hospital stays of three to five days, Jill Rickert said.

"We also haven't been at work like we normally would be," she said. "(Kevin and I) both took off a month and a half from work when Blake was first diagnosed."

"Until I was in this situation I didn't realize what impact it has on a family," Jill Rickert said. "Everything just keeps on going but your life comes to a stop."

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