Durango High School students raised more than $6,000 last week for a local middle school student fighting a rare disease.
Since May 2013, Dakota Wood, 14, has suffered from recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis. It causes painful lesions and inflammation in the bone.
“They describe it as walking around with broken bones that are not set,” said Dakota’s mom, Melinda Wood.
Despite the pain, she is usually able to hide her condition, Wood said.
“She’s pretty tough,” she said.
Dakota learned about her diagnosis in January, and since February has received low doses of chemotherapy once a week.
Thus far, her family has been paying for the treatment and travel expenses to Denver Children’s Hospital.
“We never expected anybody to do anything for us,” Melinda Wood said.
The Durango High School staff approached Wood, who works in the school’s counseling office, about raising money for Dakota, who attends Escalante Middle School.
Each class set a fundraising goal, and if they hit it, they could leave class to attend the Demonpalooza talent show.
The school did not track how many students attended, but it was standing-room only in the 300-seat auditorium all day, Assistant Principal Scott Winter said.
“It was pretty amazing. ... I just want them to know how much I appreciate it and how much it meant,” Dakota Wood said.