Atomic Koi hosts fundraiser for 4-year-old cancer patient


Photo submitted. Blake Rickerts, 4, center, suffers from a rare cancer. Parents Kevin and Jill have paid for some of his expensive medical bills with insurance, but also have had to take time off work to care for Blake.

Blake Rickert is a regular 4-year-old boy who loves diggers, plow trucks, cooking and vacuum cleaners. But what makes Blake different from other children his age is that he is battling a rare type of cancer, Burkitt’s Leukemia.

The loving support of the people around them has mattered most to Jill and Kevin, Blake’s parents, during his treatment. That’s why family and friends of the Rickerts have teamed up for a fundraising event on Sunday, April 27, from 1-5 p.m. at the Atomic Koi in Fitchburg.

Blake is currently being treated at UW Children’s Hospital in Madison. Burkitt’s is a very rapidly growing cancer—it can double in size every 14 hours. Although it is rare, the patient has a great survival rate as this rapid and aggressive cancer responds well to chemotherapy.

Blake’s treatments are costly, even with assistance from insurance. In addition, both Jill and Kevin have taken the necessary time away from their full-time jobs to care for Blake, staying with him in the hospital as he receives chemotherapy and during recovery time at home.

For Jill, helping other parents by bringing awareness to the rapidly spreading disease is what matters most.

“It’s important to be persistent with your child’s doctor when you know something doesn’t seem right,” said Jill. “We knew Blake wasn’t himself. If we had waited any longer, things would’ve been much worse.”

There are many ways to help Blake beat Burkitt’s. There will be a silent auction at the fundraising event with items to bid on including gift cards to area restaurants and businesses, merchandise and donated items including Jason Aldean tickets.

Checks can also be mailed or dropped off at any Associated Bank location in care of Blake Rickert Fundraiser. Knowing the amount of blood transfusions Blake and other children with life-threatening illnesses have, the Rickerts also encourage people to donate blood.

For more information about the Help Blake Beat Burkitt’s fundraiser, visit facebook.com/helpblakebeatburkitts.

To learn more about Burkitt’s Leukemia, visit healthline.com/health/burkitts-lymphoma. To find a blood drive location, visit redcross.org/blood.

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