Education feature: Students raise money for one of their own

Courtesy photo Chase Caron, far left, was chosen as the target of Operation Caring by the sixth graders at Ranchvale Elementary School. Carson has a tumor on his brain stem.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

When November and Operation Caring rolled around, sixth graders at Ranchvale Elementary School knew what they wanted to do.

Each year, the students complete a project to help a person, program or family. They decided to help one of their own this year.

They wanted to raise money to help first-grader Chase Carson and his family. Chase’ doctor discovered a tumor on his brain stem in September while his father, Tim Carson, was deployed in Afghanistan.

Angel Carson, Chase’ mom, said the tumor is benign, making the location most of the problem.

The family spent September and October traveling back and forth from Lubbock visiting a neurosurgeon and a pediatric surgeon.

The sixth graders decided to hold a change drive, putting a Ranchvale Wrangler boot in every classroom and asking for loose change.

The school answered the call. Almost $1,000 was raised for the family.

“It blew me away,” Angel Carson said. “It’s incredible.”

Carson explained because her husband is in the military, relocations are a part of life. So is being away from their family.

“They are our family,” she said.

Sixth-grader Sarah Mcauley said the 29 sixth graders wanted to help one of their own.

“We’re a huge family here. We need to help each other out,” Mcauley said.

Principal Suzanne Brockmeier said parents had allowed her to share Chase’ medical problem with the staff. The teachers shared it with the students.

“He’s a normal, little boy. We found it kind of by accident,” Angel Carson said. Chase is 6.

Carson said the family was in the hospital when the principal called and said the sixth graders wanted to do something for Chase.

“I thought maybe a cake or a teddy bear,” Carson said. “I never thought it would be what it was. What they did for us is incredible and continues to be incredible. We firmly believe that God keeps putting people in our lives to help us through things and this is part of that.”

For now, the family can only wait. Chase returns for testing in January to check growth of the tumor.

“It’s not a matter of if he needs surgery, it’s a matter of when,” Carson said.

Chase can’t participate in contact sports for now.

“It’s driving him crazy. You have to let him play on the playground and ride his bike. You have to. We take it day by day,” the mother said.