Sister raises nickels to help her brother, Nick - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Sister raises nickels to help her brother, Nick

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - What does one third grader do when she finds out her big brother has an aggressive cancer?

She starts a charity where you can make your donations in nickels.

Claire Pahl and a group of third graders at Summit Elementary School created "Nickels for Nick."

It's a 15 minute fundraiser every morning to raise money for Nick Pahl, her brother.

Nick, seventh grader, was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma last August. It's a rare, aggressive cancer.

"We're gonna count up all the money and give it to my mom to pay the medical bills," Claire Pahl said.

Pahl is spearheading the project with a group of her friends, who brainstormed the idea at a sleepover.

Every donor is given a bracelet that reads, "#1 in a million ~ Nick Pahl." They're lime green — the color for Burkitt's lymphoma.

Friday was the fundraiser's last day but even before it ended, the girl's were low on bracelets, which touches Nick's heart.

"It makes me feel like people are looking out for me," said Nick Pahl. "Most of the time they're always trying to figure out ways to help out other people in the community and this is one way they're helping out just one person in the community."

Nick spent months at St. Mary's hospital in Rochester undergoing intensive treatment for his cancer.

He's home, for now, and after a few more tests, he could be declared cancer-free. But, he will still be under the watchful eyes of his doctors.

"What I did to keep my spirits up is I really just tried to pull through every day and each day that I was going through it," Pahl said. "(If I) kept on getting better and better and eventually I'd be able to go home."

Even with the community behind him, his sister Claire said this large turnout is not large enough.

"On the first day, like the whole entire entryway was filled up," Pahl said, adding she hopes to raise a lot of money.

"I hope to get $300, but right now I think we have $200," she said.

She said these few hundred dollars are for a good cause, helping her brother, Nick.

At the beginning of next week, Summit's principal will tally up the money raised.

He'll announce the total to the girls, and the entire school, Tuesday afternoon.

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