Boy bullied for wearing pink starts movement to help cancer patients

When William Gierke, 9, didn’t want to go to school, after being bulled for wearing a pink t-shirt, his 4th grade teacher at Sheboygan Falls Elementary School started wearing pink in solidarity.

William’s mom shared a photo of her son and his teacher wearing pink on Facebook, and it got a huge response. Then, TODAY'S TMJ4 shared their story, and it went viral.

“All the sudden, kids at school started to care about me more, and now I have a lot more friends,” William says.

“It was just supposed to be a way to thank his teacher,” says William’s mom, Tomi Genske. “But it turned into a giant movement in this area. It’s been awesome.”

Local firefighters and football teams wore pink for William. And people like Craig Senglaub reached out to William’s family.

“I was actually bullied as a teenager, so the story hit home, and I just wanted to do something to take it to the next level," Senglaub says.

Together, they made pink t-shirts for Sheboygan Falls Football Fans. Then, they delivered all the money they raised from selling those t-shirts, to the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund. The non-profit helps cover some of the expenses of those battling cancer.

“The meaning of something like this is even more powerful than some of the bigger, more extravagant fundraisers,” says Tim Renzelmann, the Vice President of the Sheboygan County Care Fund. “It shows people in our community, paying kindness forward.”

“This opportunity was cool,” William says. “I’m glad I could help.”

“I didn’t think that all this good would come from my son wearing a pink t-shirt,” Tomi adds. “To be able to pass the good on, has been incredible."

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