CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) - A 14-year-old Chesterfield teen living with a rare disease that causes damage to his skull is beating the odds -- and getting support from some high school students.
Christopher Roberts has endured a lifetime of skull and brain surgeries. In fact, he has had more than two dozen surgeries and faces another critical surgery as soon as the end of this month.
Thursday the teen, who can’t attend school because of his fragile condition, made the rounds at school today.
Only it wasn’t in his Chesterfield school zone. It was in Henrico County where dozens of Henrico High students couldn’t wait to meet him.
The students have been captivated by his story since their teacher Jessica Taylor shared with them some stories CBS 6 News covered in the past month.
Taylor’s husband contacted us after seeing the Roberts’ story and said he felt compelled to help.
When he shared it with his wife, a teacher at Henrico High, she told students about it.
“I was blown away by them. They started digging in the pockets before I could even finish telling them the story. Some of them had tears in their eyes,” said Jessica.
The students managed to raise more than six hundred dollars, collect gift cards and even donate an electronic tablet for Christopher.
“We are so grateful. It’s overwhelming. To think that total strangers would care for my buddy this way and to want to help us, it’s so emotionally heart touching,” said Tim Roberts, Christopher’s dad.
The teen brought smiles to the faces of about forty students who piled into the school’s library to meet Christopher.
He belted out “this place is awesome” when he arrived and the students cheered. They clamored to take pictures with him and were floored when Christopher started handing out handwritten thank you cards complete with his fancy artwork.
“Christopher wanted to say thank you and so for every card that he got the other day from the students here, he sat down and wrote a personal card back to them” explained dad.
Student Chayla Simpson says it’s been emotional for her.
“I’ve learned to love them, even though I haven’t known them for a long time, so this is special to me,” said Simpson.
Students say they won’t let their support end here. They plan on keeping tabs on Christopher as he gears up for his surgery.
"When you have a strong feeling inside you telling you need to do something, that's God talking to you and the best thing to do is listen and follow through,” said Christopher Taylor, Jessica’s husband.
"It made me feel good about myself that I could help somebody else," chimed in Jessica Coleman.
Christopher and Tim say they will never forget the kindness shown to them from these students. They even look forward to a hospital visit from some of the students, once Christopher is in recovery.
A fund is set up at Bank of America to help the Roberts family. Anyone who cares to donate should use the following account number: 334026011031.