Four-year-old Naysen Riehl of Molalla is this years recipient of the Molalla High School fundraising effort.

by: CORY MIMMS - Kiya, 5. and Jonathan Riehl, 14, give little Naysen plenty of loveLike most all four-year-olds, Naysen Riehl would love to run and play and eat ice cream. But Naysen, the youngest of seven children, was born with health issues that have kept him from being able to do any of those things.

Molalla High School students have chosen Naysen as the recipient for this year’s Share the Love, a month-long fundraiser in which students raise funds for a local family each year.

During the next four weeks, the students hope to raise at least $18,000 for Naysen.

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Naysen with Molalla High School Share the Love organizers Ashley Alexander and Drew Vandenbroeder.“It won’t be easy to raise that much money,” a Share the Love student organizer told the student body at Friday morning’s Share the Love kick-off assembly. “It will take dedication. But if we all pitch in and work together, we can make Naysen’s dream a reality.”

The son of Crystal and Tim Riehl of Molalla, Naysen needs a wheel chair so that he can go places with his family and friends. He also needs the medical care of a Seattle specialist to treat one of Naysen’s health issues, Mitochondrial disease.

Asked what he’d like on his wheel chair, the little boy sparked and said, “A cannon!” Later, with a dreamy smile on his face, he said he’d like the wheel chair to have wings, “So I can fly and go super speed. I want it to have ‘Toy Story’ things on it like Buzz Lightyear. Oh, and a bubble machine.”

Since he was a baby, Naysen has been in and out of hospitals. His parents and older siblings carry him everywhere.

by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Jonathan Riehl helps little brother Naysen, 4, 'fly up to touch the basket in the MHS gym following the Share the Love assembly Friday.“He’s not heavy,” said his brother, Jonathan, who lovingly lifted Naysen into his arms to carry him home. “He only weighs 33 pounds.”

All Naysen’s brothers and sisters are there for him. Besides Jonathan, 14, there’s Manden, 13, Harliegh, 8, Liam, 7, Ireland, 6 and Kiya, 5.

Naysen was nominated as a recipient for Share the Love by a Molalla kindergarten teacher.

“I’ve had the privilege of teaching several of the Riehl children in my kindergarten class, and that’s how I met Naysen,” she told the student body at the assembly. “So when I saw the email about nominating a Share the Love recipient, Naysen came to mind. I thought of how we talked about it, how Naysen would chatter about how he couldn’t walk, and how he wants to be in Kindergarten and how he wants to go fast.”

by: CORY MIMMS - The Riehl family shares their love following the Molalla High School Share the Love kick-off assembly Friday, in which Naysen Riehl, 4, was named this year's recipient of the annual fundraiser. Pictured from left, standing: Harliegh, 8 and Manden, 13, Sitting: Kiya, 5, and Naysen, 4, held by Jonathan, 14, Liam, 7, and Ireland, 6, held by their mother, Crystal Riehl, of Molalla.“It’s been hard, but it will get better,” Naysen’s mother said following the assembly. “He goes to so many doctors; he’s gone to 10 doctors just this month (January). But today was a good day for Naysen,” she said with a warm smile. “Many aren’t. Yesterday, he slept 20 hours.”

Naysen gets physical therapy twice a month and his mother helps him with the exercises in between times.

“The kids all chip in,” she said. “They’ve been such a help. It’s been hard on them because Naysen is allergic to so many things, like cigarette smoke, so we can’t get out too often.”

by: CORY MIMMS - MHS teacher Joe Zenisek stirs up the assembly with a rousing pep talk to Share the Love. The students raise funds for a local family each year through the month-long fundraiser, and Zenisek has led the efforts each year as an adivsor.Except for the zoo, that is, where there’s plenty of fresh air. And having a wheel chair will make it easier for the family to take Naysen there on sunny days. Naysen said his favorite animals at the zoo are the dinosaurs and the flamingoes. His favorite colors are pink and red, because flamingoes are pink.

For fun at home, Naysen said he plays Wii — Mario and Luigi — with his brothers and sisters. “He thinks he is playing because he holds the controls,” Jonathan said.

“I love Mickey Mouse cuz Mickey likes Mario and Luigi,” Naysen said.

Asked the first place he wants to go when he gets his wheel chair, Naysen said, “Disneyland!”

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