North Tonawanda girl fights cancer with classmates

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Stella Usiak is fighting cancer, but she has good friends to help her.

The sixth graders at Meadow Elementary in North Tonawanda made a video, set to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ to not only cheer Usiak up, but they made it hoping she might some day get to meet her idol. In fact, a page with over 4,000 likes is already running in the hopes that Swift might see her.

“Oh my gosh, Stella’s classmates are amazing,” said Stella’s mother Jennifer Usiak. “It’s hilarious, and Stella’s had a few sad days where she’s like ‘ Mom can we watch the video of the kids from school?'”

For the past four years Stella has spent about as much time in hospitals as she has at home, battling acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

“It’s amazing that children have been going above and beyond'” said Stella’s mom.

Last week they raised $1,000 for Make A Wish, by sending letters to Santa through a Macy’s campaign. Over at Galassi’s Sub Shop they’re selling wristbands and t-shirts to help Stella’s family with medical costs, That’s where they’re also selling hand made Christmas ornaments made by her 11 year-old friend, Allie.

“I basically want to give back for all she did to me since she’s been my best friend since Pre-K,” said Allie Roberts. “I’m trying to make sure she’s happy and not down that she has to go the hospital all the time.”

Her mother says it shows that Stella’s not forgotten. “She’s important to these friends of hers and she’s still a part of their community, which I am grateful for because she’s missed so much because she doesn’t get to go to school.”

For these sixth graders, it’s a lesson of life, according to Allie’s mother Deanna Roberts. ‘It’s made them a little more conscious of not just themselves, and I think they’re starting to be a little nicer to each other.”

On Monday, Stella was admitted to Roswell Park Cancer Institute for another few days, but she and her classmates have seen this many times before.

Allie Roberts says the goal is simple, “Hopefully we can have Stella at least meet Taylor Swift and we can fight this cancer.”

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