SC girl raises money for classmate with inoperable brain tumor - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

SC girl raises money for classmate with inoperable brain tumor

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Bella raising money for Ethen on Monday afternoon. Bella raising money for Ethen on Monday afternoon.
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MOUNT PLEASANT, SC -

On a Monday afternoon, once Bella Feinzig got settled in from school she went to gather a few goodies to sell, a poster board, and a plastic table and then headed out the door to help her school-mate Ethen Richardson.

Bella has never met Ethen, however, she has been following his story for the past five months.

Both Bella and Ethen attend Pinckney Elementary School in Mount Pleasant but she has never had the chance to meet him because he is not always in his third-grade class.

This summer, Ethen was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor in his brain stem.  His current doctors do not offer any hope of long term survival.

 "Medically, at this point we're done," Ethen's father Todd Richardson told WCSC in December.

 Ethen and his family often travel to St. Jude's hospital in Memphis, Tenn. to monitor a inoperable tumor.  They have also been on a week-long Make-A-Wish trip to NYC over New Years.

Bella has been so deeply moved by his story, which has gone national, that she is dedicating her afternoons to raise money for him.

  So far she has raised $600 to help, and her goal is to raise $1000.

  Bella, who has set up her little shop at  Victory Pointe and National Drive, says she wants Ethen to do whatever he wants with the money.

Ethen's struggle went national when over New Years, Ethen and his entire family made an appearance on Fox News during a Make A Wish trip to NYC to see the Statue of Liberty and other sights.

 Along with the trip, Ethen and his family were special guests on the Fox News All-American New Year show in Times Square.

 And just earlier this week, members from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Charleston and the South Carolina Aquarium teamed up to provide Ethen behind-the-scenes access to the Aquarium and what it's like to be a Coast Guard skipper for the day.  

 Ethen and his family began the day at the Aquarium, where he was greeted by the staff and treated to a behind the scenes tour.  During the tour, Ethen interacted with the Aquarium staff and learned about taking care of all of the animals in the Aquarium, including stops at the top of the Great Ocean Tank and providing enrichment for the resident octopus.  Ethen also visited recovering sea turtles in South Carolina's only Sea Turtle Hospital.  The final stop on the tour included a visit to the gift shop where Ethen was able to choose items of his liking, courtesy of the Aquarium and its staff.

After the Aquarium tour, Ethen and his family boarded a Coast Guard small boat for a patrol inside Charleston harbor.  Ethen assumed the duties of Flotilla Commander during the ride, coordinating other boats from Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Charleston Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, North Charleston Police Department, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, North Charleston Fire Department, Charleston County Rescue and St John's Fire Department.

 Ethen piloted the small boat to the waiting Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin.  Onboard the Yellowfin, Ethen took over as Skipper and finished the harbor patrol before returning to the Coast Guard base in downtown Charleston.

The day culminated with a special ceremony honoring Ethen's flawless seamanship while serving as the Flotilla Commander. The Low Country Chief's Mess advanced Ethen to the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and presented him with his anchors.  

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