Pancake breakfast raises over 5K for 5-year-old boy with leukemia
The money will be used toward helping the family.In addition, to the pancake breakfast, there was a dunk booth, bounce house, poker run, and raffle. Bracelets and t-shirts were also sold at the benefit.
UPDATE: Neyland Pickel, 5, is a huge Vols fan and wanted to meet his favorite coach, Butch Jones. His wish was granted on Thursday, Coach Jones visited him at the hospital in Knoxville.
Saturday, the good fortune kept coming for Neyland. A pancake breakfast raised over $5,000 to benefit Neyland. The money will be used toward helping the family.
In addition, to the pancake breakfast, there was a dunk booth, bounce house, poker run, and raffle. Bracelets and t-shirts were also sold at the benefit.
PREVIOUS STORY: A McMinn County boy was diagnosed with leukemia last week and the community is rallying around him.
Five-year-old Neyland Pickel is a huge Vols fan. His parents named him after Neyland Stadium. He has a long road ahead of him at Children's Hospital in Knoxville, but his wish is to meet Coach Butch Jones while he's there.
The Town of Englewood is going orange for Neyland. The little Vols fan is putting up a fight.
The news was tough for Englewood Police Chief Gary Miller. Neyland's dad, Jason, is one of his officers.
"He called and let me know that the tests were positive, and Neyland did have leukemia," Miller said. "All of the policemen started standing up, wanting to know what they can do."
Neyland will be undergoing rounds of chemo in Knoxville for the next month.
In the meantime, other officers, including some from outside agencies (Drug Task Force Agency and Sweetwater Police Dept.), have volunteered to cover Jason's shifts, so he can still get paid.
"The first shift, I actually picked it up for him," said Englewood Sgt. Nick Purkey. "I worked an extra 12 hours for him."
This isn't Neyland's first fight. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, at age 3, and beat it.
"Every time I think about it, I want to cry," Purkey said. "It's hard seeing a child go through it, but he's accomplished it once. He can do it again. He's my hero."
The small town is now stepping up to help the family.
"We want to do everything we can to help," said Joe Cline, Englewood Town Manager.
Officials started collecting donations at City Hall last Friday. They've already raised more than $1,000.
"We've got people coming through the drive-thru giving us hundreds of dollars in cash," Cline said.
"People wave you down (on the street) and just hand you money," Miller added. "It's been pretty special."
The Town of Englewood is hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser event for Neyland on June 4th. All donations will go straight to his family.