The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Meghan Ortizcazarin

Payton Schuldt’s support shirts are on sale in the Spirit Shop and have been since mid-April. Her classmates planned days for the entire junior high to wear them in support of her surgery.

Student body backs eighth grader Peyton Schuldt

When eighth grader Peyton Schuldt had surgery to remove a tumor in her spine, her friends and community joined together to support her and her family through the ordeal.

May 7, 2014

The BSM eighth graders are working together to show support by selling t-shirts for fellow classmate Peyton Schuldt. Peyton, who is thirteen years old, has Ewing Sarcoma, which results in a tumor in her spine. “When I was diagnosed, it was so surreal,” Schuldt said, “and then when I had my first appointment with my oncologist, I knew that it was actually happening to me.” Because of this, she had to undergo chemotherapy and two serious surgeries to have the tumor removed.

Due to her diagnoses, surgeries, and recovery, Peyton has had to miss out on many things that eighth graders normally participate in; especially school and sports. “It’s definitely been stressful balancing surgery with school. I’ve been out for three weeks, and more after that for recovery,” Schuldt said, “but my teachers have been very understanding and help me stay caught up as much as possible.”

We all wanted to do something to support her through this tough time, so that’s when we wanted to help with getting the t-shirts and selling them here at BSM.”

— Ashley Ortizcazarin

“She is an amazing kid. Both of the surgeries are done and she is bouncing back so quickly,” Madame Amy Jo Hyde said about Peyton. Madame Hyde has been helping the eighth graders in most of their support towards Peyton, including the t-shirt sales.

“Peyton plays baseball [softball], and originally her mom and teammates made the t-shirts to wear to show support, and some of the teammates wore them to school. Everyone wanted one after that!” Madame Hyde said. The t-shirt she is referring to, of course, is the red shirt that many students have been sporting with the slogan, “Peyton­­—we’ve got your back!” with stick-figures holding a “back.”

“Peyton is so amazing for going through all of that,” eighth grader Ashley Ortizcazarin said. “We all wanted to do something to support her through this tough time, so that’s when we wanted to help with getting the t-shirts and selling them here at BSM. We really hope she has a quick recovery, and returns back to school soon!”

Peyton’s mom has been the brains behind the whole operation, but it has truly been the students that have been making the difference. “The last day Peyton was at school, the whole eighth grade class wore the shirts to wish her luck,” Madame Hyde said. Not only were eighth graders buying and wearing them to represent, but the rest of the junior high, the senior high, and even faculty and staff were purchasing them, all to help pay for Peyton’s medical costs. They can be seen everywhere around BSM.

The t-shirts are $15 a piece, with all proceeds going towards medical bills from the surgeries. They were sold during junior high lunches and in the spirit shop. But if you don’t have any interest in owning a shirt but want to contribute, you can make a donation. “So many people have bought the shirts, and many others have made donations, helping to raise even more money for the cause,” Madame Hyde said.

After her two surgeries, Peyton is still in recovery, and will be returning to school at the end of April or beginning of May this year, but it will take her spine nine months to fully heal. She is unable to participate in any sports or physical activity. “As of right now, I’m feeling much better. There’s still a little bit of pain in my back, but that’s obviously to be expected. Recently, we found out I was allergic to my stitches, so they were taken out on April 28th. My doctors are hoping that I can get back to school on May 5th,” Schuldt said.

Even though she is now in recovery, people are still showing a tremendous amount support for Peyton. On Wednesday, May 7, there will be a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings to collect even more support and donations. The t-shirts will be sold there as well, and donations will be accepted from anyone who wants to contribute. If you want to find out more about Peyton’s diagnosis, process and recovery, you can find her story on her Caringbridge Site.

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