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School uses homecoming to raise money for student battling disease

A Mid-Michigan community is rallying to help a student in desperate need of a kidney.

Posted Updated

Tiarra Braddock
CHESANING, MI — A Mid-Michigan community is rallying to help a student in desperate need of a kidney.

Chesaning High School student Cole Folkes is battling kidney disease. The 16-year-old has endured more than 50 surgeries throughout his life.

The school is using their homecoming celebration to raise money to help him and his family with the mounting medical bills.

Folkes was diagnosed with end stage renal failure when he was just a baby. He is still dealing with the disease years later.

The condition keeps the high school junior going back and forth to the hospital.

His family needs all the emotional and financial support they can get. That's where his friends and family at Chesaning High School come in. They are dedicating homecoming to him this year.

"Cole's a really quiet, humble kid," said Amy Sholtz, teacher at Chesaning High School.

Sholtz is one of Folkes' teachers. She is a part of the committee that came together to help out Folkes' family.

"It's been wonderful for the kids to open their eyes and go 'oh yeah, he's dealing with this on his own,'" Sholtz said.

Folkes couldn't be in school on Tuesday because he is being treated at the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital. Although, he is still able to see all of the support from the people at his school.

"I'm very thankful, really grateful for the classmates and teachers coming together to help me out," Folkes said.

His family is in need of the money to help pay for Folkes' kidney transplant and other costs.

Skylar Walser, student at Chesaning, found a creative way to raise money for Folkes.

"He's such a nice kid. You get that vibe from him," Walser said.

Walser and other students are going to be selling bracelets at the school's homecoming game on Friday.

"Help support Cole and most of the proceeds are going to Cole and his family to help with costs,"Walser said.

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