Orion Love. It’s a phrase that people born and raised in Lake Orion understand – it’s about a sense of pride and community. It’s also about lending a hand to people in need.
That’s why a number of graduates from Lake Orion High School decided to step forward when they heard about three extraordinary children and their families (who are all from Lake Orion) in the throes of battling disease and in need of support, hope and prayer.
The first of the three children is Max Milewski. Max was born 11 weeks prematurely with Down syndrome and cataracts, and now at only two years old, has begun a long battle with Leukemia. His courageous battle can be followed on Facebook at Lets fight like Max for Max, a site his family created to bring people together to help support his fight.
Nicole Burton – the second child – has been battling cancer since she was just 4 years old. Nicole was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on September 11, 2008. She endured chemotherapy and treatment at Detroit Medical Center: Children’s Hospital of Michigan. On March 23 she “rang the bell” at Children’s Hospital stating that she was done with her treatment and in remission.
On May 20 her mom received a call that no parent ever wants to get: that her cancer had returned in a more aggressive way. She just started a new round of chemotherapy this month. To support and follow Nicole’s journey, please visit The Community Supporting Nicole Burton.
The third child, Faith Aisthorpe, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 18 months old. She has been admitted to the hospital over a dozen times for CF exacerbation, pancreas and kidney issues. She takes 5 oral medications and does up to 12 breathing treatments a day. She also has a permanent IV port in her chest to access for blood draws and to infuse the IV antibiotics when she is in the hospital. To join their family’s fight to raise awareness and beat this awful disease, people can visit Fans for Faith.
“We have a goal of raising $100,000 for these families,” said Kimberly Casper, a Lake Orion Graduate and the cause’s coordinator. “We are looking for companies interested in supporting this cause in any way. Another inspirational side to this story has been the overwhelming community outreach and the power of social media on a positive level. I like the aspect of those offering to help when there’s nothing in it for them, other than the reason that it’s the right thing to do. That’s what this is all about.”
The community effort, which Casper has tagged “Have FAITH to the MAX, just in the NIC of time” has already seen several amazing pledges to raise awareness and provide support.
- A Christmas card drive and fundraiser for “Mighty Max” was started by the daughter of Lake Orion graduate, Jeni Ochoa. Kaylie Ochoa, who is currently serving in the US Army, heard about Max and was determined to brighten his spirits this Christmas. For more details on sending a card, people can visit: Christmas Cards for Max.
- Marc D DesRosiers, another Lake Orion graduate is pledging to ride his bike more than 1,300 miles from Denver to Detroit starting October 7, 2012. He’ll ride approximately 100 miles a day until he arrives in Detroit, just in time to run the Detroit Marathon on Oct. 21. His goal is to raise money and awareness for the three families. And, others in the area are already in talks of joining him.
- Lake Orion graduate Mike Saad is creating a site, www.lakeorionloves.com, which will enable people to donate money to “Have FAITH to the MAX, just in the NIC of time.”
- David McKnight, owner of Emerald City Designs and fellow LO Grad has offered to plan a party the evening of Oct. 21 at Genitti’s Hole in the Wall in Northville in an effort to raise money.
- Detroit Love Apparel, owned by LO Grad Jesse Moyet, will donate 20 percent of Orion Love sales October 1-21, 2012. All apparel can be found online at www.detroitloveapparel.com.
“All monies raised will go equally toward the three Lake Orion families whose children need our help in their fight,” said Casper. “Raising $100,000 over the next 10 months is a lofty goal, but is it impossible? We don’t think so.”
Note: This announcement was received and posted by the Oakland Township Patch.