Students raise thousands for custodian battling cancer

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Students are using the power of social media to raise money for a school employee.  He is battling cancer.

Emily Wind started to raise money for Ollie the custodian. She helped raise $10,000 through Facebook and on-line efforts over the past week.

Ollie has been a custodian at Parkway West for 16 years. Emily Wind wanted to do something when she overheard teachers talking about his cancer.  Ollie's wife also had been in the hospital for the last 5 weeks. Wind started raising money during lunch.

A student caught wind of Wind's kind efforts and published an article in the school newspaper on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon the article was getting almost 9,000 views.
Valarie Townsend, a teacher at Parkway West,  started a GoFundMe page Tuesday night at 11pm. The page raised $2,000 by the next morning. Wind didn't even know what had happened until Wednesday afternoon, Neither did Ollie.

"So, when we told him what was going on, he started to cry." said Parkway West Principal Jeremy Mitchell.

The GoFundMe page is up to $9,000 Thursday night. Want to help?  Donate here.

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