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Sherwood rallies for one of its youngest

Volunteers host fund-raisers for Tristan Rychlick, a Hopkins Elementary first-grader suffering from brain cancer

In a show of community support, several individuals, businesses and organizations are rallying around the family of 7-year-old Tristan Rychlick, a Hopkins Elementary School first-grader who is undergoing his second round of intense treatment for brain cancer.

A community bazaar and raffle to benefit the Rychlick family will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19 at Hopkins Elementary and close at 3 p.m. Local vendors will be there, selling products just in time for Mother's Day. A massage therapist will give massages by the minute and a raffle includes more than $1,000 in prizes.

All proceeds from this event will go directly to the Rychlick family to help with medical expenses.

Tristan's story

Less than two years ago, news that Tristan Rychlick, the youngest son of then-Hopkins Elementary School PTAC president Jennifer Rychlick, had been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor shook the local community into action. Volunteers delivered meals, helped clean the family's house and drove the Rychlicks' two older children to and from school.

A local Girl Scout Troop, headed by Elizabeth Keebler, the mother of a cancer survivor, made a 'chemo backpack' for Tristan and filled it with toys and books to help him get through the eight months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

A Hopkins teacher, Leslie Murphy, along with the school's principal, Nanci Sheeran, decided that the proceeds from Hopkins' annual fund-raiser for Doernbecher Children's Hospital would help the Rychlicks. That fund-raiser netted more than $4,500 for Tristan.

In November of 2007, after many months of surgeries and chemotherapy, Dave and Jennifer Rychlick got the news they'd been waiting for - Tristan, known as 'T' to his family and friends, was cancer-free.

The family celebrated, making up for the previous year's Christmas, which occurred just days after doctors diagnosed Tristan with cancer, and rang in Tristan's seventh birthday in January.

The family's joy was cut short just a few weeks after Tristan's seventh birthday, when the first-grader went in for a follow-up scan. The news was devastating. Tristan's cancer had returned and this time, pediatric chemotherapy wasn't going to be strong enough. Tristan began adult chemotherapy treatments in March and continues to battle the cancer.

Firefighters pitch in with a chicken barbecue, May 31

The community, however, is starting to rally again. An egg hunt in March raised money for the family's many expenses and now a new set of events is planned, including the April 19 fund-raiser at Hopkins Elementary. If you would like to be a vendor or donate an item, please contact Cassie Strickler as soon as possible at 503-998-5464 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A pancake breakfast to benefit the Rychlicks will be held at 8 a.m. Sunday, April 27 at the Sherwood Elks Lodge, 22770 S.W. Elwert Road, just across Highway 99W from the Sherwood YMCA. For $6 you'll get pancakes, eggs, bacon, potatoes, juice and coffee, tea or milk plus entertainment.

Then, on May 31, the Sherwood Volunteer Firefighter Association will host a chicken barbecue at Hopkins Elementary beginning at noon and continuing until the chicken - a legendary recipe in Sherwood that only the local volunteer firefighters know how to whip up - is all gone.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Tristan Rychlick Fund to help with his medical expenses.

Volunteers are needed to help on the day of the sale. Please contact Laurel Downing, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 503-625-1985, or Rondi Jeans at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 503-625-4696.