North Kitsap Herald


Vinland Elementary students hear special message from Ian Gunnell

North Kitsap Herald Education/Sports Reporter
October 22, 2012 · Updated 5:16 PM

Ty Picini, a Vinland Elementary first grade student. puts on his new Positive Fight Mode bracelet he and the other students received the morning of Oct. 22. The bracelets show support for Vinland student Ian Gunnell, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. / Kipp Robertson/ Herald

VINLAND — Vinland Elementary first-grader Ty Pincini hasn't seen or spoken with Ian Gunnell since the first day of school, Sept. 5.

The desk directly across from Ty, which was Ian's for less than half a day of school, sits empty. It may remain empty for some time.

Although the students of Terra Ezell's class haven't seen their fellow first-grader for more than a month now, they heard familiar voices over the intercom the morning of Oct. 22. As the students of Vinland Elementary settled into their seats, a special announcement was played: A thank you from the Gunnell family, from Ian, 6, and Jenna, Ian's 10-year-old sister.

After the announcement, Ian and Jenna led the morning Pledge of Allegiance.

Bracelets were then handed out to all the students, so they could show support for Ian and Positive Fight Mode. Ian, 6, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia — so rare that 25 children are known to have it in the world.

Chris Gunnell, Ian’s father, said Children’s Hospital had never seen a case of leukemia like Ian’s. The type of leukemia is known as blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm. It’s usually found in elderly men.

The cost of one chemotherapy treatment for Ian is $150,000. Ian will begin his next phase of treatment this week.

To show support, the Kitsap community has embraced Positive Fight Mode for Ian Gunnell. Events to raise money for the family and Ian's treatment continue through December (more may be added in the future):



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