Graham schools cheered for Blake Barr Thursday before leaving for Philadelphia for treatment.

Champaign County community rallies for boy with rare form of cancer

A 10-year-old Champaign County boy battling cancer isn’t alone in his fight.

Students and staff at Graham Middle School, along with many community members, gathered Thursday afternoon to cheer for Blake Barr as he gets ready to travel to Philadelphia for six weeks of treatment for a rare form of cancer.

“We wanted a community event to show Blake we are behind him so we organized a clap-out today and publicized it and the community showed up,” Graham Middle School Principal Chad Miller said. “That’s what Graham is about. It’s heart warming.”

Students and staff members from the school, local law enforcement and firefighters, community members and even Buckeye Man, the famous Ohio State football fan, lined the hallways and gathered outside the school to cheer for Blake.

“It felt good,” Blake said.

His family was behind him the entire time as he marched through the school.

“It means a lot, we live in the most amazing community,” said Amberly Barr, Blake’s mother. “The support has been phenomenal.”

Blake’s father, Ron Barr, also said the day was special.

“It’s pretty awesome to see everyone come out like this,” Ron Barr said. “Blake’s always been great with people and to see how he touched people’s lives before. And now we get to see everyone touch his life and get him motivated for what he is about to go through.”

The school district and the Champaign County YMCA presented the Barr family with several gifts, including donations for Blake’s treatment and gift cards for travel.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.