Students surprise classmate, who battled cancer, with a Caribbean cruise


Sparkman student Cole Brown

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MADISON Ala. -- Students at Sparkman High School raised $8,000 to give a fellow Madison County student a surprise he 's been wanting for three years. On Monday, students gathered in the gym for a Caribbean island party with a secret plan.

Fifth-grader, Cole Brown, sat down to play his first ever round of Wheel of Fortune. "I knew they were going to be doing something for me, but I didn't know what," Brown said.

Cole has finished his treatments for leukemia, and the students are granting his wish to go on a Caribbean cruise.

"I'm just so thankful for St. Jude for saving my baby's life," said Cole's mother "And then Sparkman doing this for us, for Cole's make a wish, it's great."

The Sparkman students raised $8,000 to grant the wish, through a faculty/student basketball game, a dodgeball tournament, and a change drive.

"It's nice for the whole student body to come together and then be able to witness the fruition of their efforts, through this reveal," said Ashly Johnston, the student government advisor at Sparkman High School.

Exactly one year ago, Sparkman High School granted its first wish, gifting Sydney Cunningham her dream golf cart.

Sydney passed away at 11-years-old. Her parents say the came to support Cole, a St. Jude warrior just like their daughter. They said that the Sparkman students coming together to grant these wishes means so much to the children.

 "It put a smile on her face, and to get to help encourage them to continue their fight. And that's what that golf cart did for Sydney," said Tamisha Cunningham, Sydney's mom.

In her memory, Sydney's parents recently started Sydney's Hope Foundation. Hope stands for "helping other people day." They said that's what Sydney did, and what they will continue to do.

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