Dad's business supports daughter with cancer

Dad's business supports daughter with cancer

CHAMPAIGN -- The Gerber family is getting support from all over Central Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN -- A LeRoy family is feeling at home even though they are hundreds of miles away. 4-year old Brynlee Gerber is at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in Memphis. She has blood cancer. Now people are reaching out from all over to help her and her family. Like employees at her dad's business, Lanz Heating and Cooling, Inc.

"Right away we felt the support," said Andrew Gerber, Brynlee's dad.

"Brynlee is the daughter of one of our employees. Andrew's been with us for a very long time and we just love him and his family and want to lift him up and do what we can," said Eric Jordan, service manager at Lanz Heating & Cooling, Inc.

So last month Jordan and other workers started a fundraising drive on Facebook. For every new "Like," they would donate a dollar to St. Jude's.

"Just the numbers kept going up and up and up with the support that we got. It was great," said Jordan.

"They let us know right away that they were behind us 100%. Anything that we needed," said Andrew.

The support didn't stop there.

"We decided to get a bunch of us together and shave our heads and three of the ladies here in the office donated their ponytails to Locks of Love too," said Jordan.

"Brynlee, when she saw those pictures of the ponytails getting cut off, she just got hers cut off the other day, the grin on her face was priceless," said Andrew.

"You feel lonely. We're seven hours from home and trying to keep Brynlee entertained and to see people reaching out from that far away, it makes things easier down here," said Carlee Gerber, Brynlee's mom.

And it lets mom and dad focus on what's important.

"It's so much harder on us to watch her go through the things that she's going through but then on the good days, she's running on the playground and she just wants to be outside all day and to have that little girl back, we've been missing her for a couple of months, is incredible," said Carlee.

"We appreciate everything, all the support, the thoughts, the prayers. We feel it all and, like Carlee said earlier, it makes it feel a lot closer to home," said Andrew.

Brynlee has been at St. Jude's for about two weeks now and still has at least two years of treatments to go.

To donate to her medical expenses or the research hospital, there's an account open in Brynlee's name at Heartland Bank and Trust.
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