L'Anse Creuse Middle School East student sets volunteer record despite brain cancer

Posted: 6:01 PM, Mar 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-29 18:05:00-04

Volunteer work is so honorable. For one student at L'Anse Creuse Middle School East, helping others is something he’s enjoyed despite his own disabilities.

Thirteen-year-old Dylan Rheker was given an award for all the hours he’s put in. The straight ‘A’ student volunteered so many hours, he broke the school record and he’s doing it while fighting for his life.

He said, “I love to help people.”

Dylan’s mother, Theresa Rheker, says to get this far in life is a miracle.

She said,“Diagnosis is day by day.”

Dylan was born with a genetic disorder and in 2011 was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

She said, “Chemo is going to be his life and if it’s not for that, then he probably won’t be here.”

He has a tumor the size of a grapefruit leaving him legally blind in one eye.

Dylan said, “I just keep fighting it everyday and keep trying.”

Despite his disabilities, he managed to volunteer 236 hours in school and at a nursing home, earning him an award.

Theresa explained, “To see everybody stand up, give him that standing ovation and just to see him walk down the aisle with pride.”

Dylan added, “It just felt amazing to me.”

Principal Nina Davis said Dylan is well known among students and staff. She is not surprised he won the award.

“He set a school record,” she said. “He excelled the student under him by 100 hours.”

“An amazing, young man,” Theresa said. “He is our inspiration. He’s my hero, he’s my husband’s hero. I look at everything he goes through in a daily basis and I can’t complain about my day when everything he goes through, he doesn’t complain.”

Even though Dylan has a long battle ahead of him, his goal is to maintain straight A’s and volunteer more hours.

“Happy to help. I’m always here if anyone needs help.”

His mom says it’s part of his nature.

“Caring about somebody else before himself. He’s always been that way since he was a child and it’s never stopped.”