According to Albert Einstein, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” This quote rings true for the medical assistant program students in Rebecca Pearson’s Patient Care Sciences class at Minnesota School of Business-Elk River. They have a unique opportunity to do just as Einstein suggested.
When Pearson learned about the Rally for Reese, she knew it would be the best opportunity for her students to give back in a big way while meeting the course objectives—studying juvenile illnesses and diseases.
Recently, Sara and Ryan Donnay spoke to the class about their daughter, Reese, age 7, who was diagnosed with Batten Disease, a genetic disease that affects the patient’s vision and behavior, then progresses to cause mental impairments, seizures, and eventually death. The diagnosis was devastating, especially when the doctor told them that there is no cure or known treatment.
“We weren’t satisfied,” said Sara. “We wanted to find out more.”
Since then, the Donnays have been researching, looking for answers and assistance, and raising awareness.
The upcoming Rally for Reese, organized by Ryan’s coworkers from Rogers High School, is one opportunity to support Reese and her family. Through their applied learning project, the students will work with the 5K runners, help out in various booths, and raise awareness and promote the event on campus and in the community.
“I’m so glad the students have this opportunity to help out on a greater spectrum and get involved in this project,” said Pearson. “I think it’s going to give them a more meaningful experience this quarter.”
“I could not imagine going through this,” said medical assistant student, Alicia Bristlin, after listening to the Donnays speak about their journey. “I just met these two tonight, and I am glad they are as strong as they are. It seems like they both have positive things to look forward to and they don’t just focus on the negative things that are happening and that could happen in the future.”
The Rally for Reese will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21. It begins with a 5K at 10 a.m. at Word of Peace Lutheran Church in Rogers ($25/participant) and will continue with a spaghetti dinner and silent auction from 1-4 p.m. The evening portion of the event will include live entertainment provided by Drop Tailgate. For more information, please go to: http://www.rallyforreese.com.