Community and friends support a local 5th grader with leukemia

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - William Collett loves basketball, swimming, and playing video games with his friends. It was when he wasn't running as fast as usual last spring that his parents took him to the doctor, and he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Because of William's cancer treatments, he can't attend school for the next few months. But his friends and community are making sure he isn't feeling left out.

Two of his friends shaved their heads with William so he didn't feel left out. In his 5th grade class, Jerry the monkey sits in his seat. His classmates fill out a journal describing how Jerry spent his day so William doesn't miss out on anything. William writes back to them so he's a part of class even while at home.

But the spirit of community extends beyond William's inner circle. One 6th grade class made a song for William. A few high schoolers even shaved their heads to show William support. Queen of Peace is hosting events during the month to raise awareness for childhood cancer, show William support, and raise funds for the game room in Shand's Children's hospital.

William's parents say the treatments are very difficult and will last for three years, but he has a good prognosis and they have a lot of faith.