Clairemont school rallies in support of fifth grader diagnosed with Leukemia

CLAIREMONT (KUSI) — Longfellow Spanish Immersion school in the Clairemont area is rallying around one of their own. Fifth-grade student Susi Ventura was diagnosed with Leukemia in February and began treatment to fight the disease last weekend. The school organized a rally, wearing orange "Team Susi" shirts for a school-wide Team Susi Spirit Day rally. Students, staff and parents attended to show support. 

"It’s just really nice to see everybody coming together. The teachers are very supportive, the community is very supportive and the kids are excited and want to help her," Diana Sanchez, principal of Longfellow Spanish Immersion school said during the rally. 

Susi Ventura’s family received more startling news when her younger brother Ethan was diagnosed with a kidney disease just as Susi began chemotherapy treatments. Doctors discovered Ethan’s kidneys were functioning at 25 percent capacity, causing significant issues with his blood pressure. It is believed Ethan will need a kidney transplant as there is no cure for his sickness. 

"The mom is a single parent and we just want to help the family as much as we can." Sanchez said. "We decided to organize every grade level to come up with a donation drive to help the family in as many ways as we could, and today we launched that event."

Susi and Ethan’s mother has been unable to work since Susi was diagnosed with Leukemia. The school and community members have created a GoFundMe page to help the family, raising over $3000 in the span of one month thus far. Susi was not expected to attend the rally, but the brave young girl surprised everybody by making an appearance during the gathering Wednesday. 

"We’re a family and the kids have known that she’s been ill. To have her make a surprise visit today was just awesome for the kids to see her."

Categories: Local San Diego News