Last month, Middle School teacher Matt Tully ’02 launched a new effort in the Middle School to benefit kids – like his two year old niece Spencer – battling brain cancer. He got quite a response from students, faculty, and the entire Gilman community.
One year ago, doctors discovered a tumor about the size of a softball in the brain of Matt Tully’s niece, Spencer Grace Tully, the daughter of Chris Tully ’96. Although her initial surgery and chemotherapy treatments were largely successful in destroying the tumor, they recently learned that the cancer spread to her spine, and in the coming years she will receive chemotherapy and radiation treatments that will hopefully save her life.
As a tribute to his niece, Tully announced a book drive, called the Spencer Grace Collection, to benefit the John’s Hopkins Children’s Center, where Spencer is being treated. Tully called this, “a gesture that provides support for her father, my brother Chris Tully, a fellow Gilman graduate and member of your community, as his daughter prayerfully wins this battle.”
Over the last month, Tully oversaw the collection of new and nearly new books that poured in as a response. Each morning, student council members received and sorted new donations that were dropped off by the boxful. The final total? An impressive 871 books. And, Tully says new donations are still coming in.
This week, members of the student council packed up a Gilman bus full of books and delivered them to the John’s Hopkins Children’s Center, where they were welcomed by librarian Phoebe Bacon. Bacon thanked the Gilman community for such a meaningful donation and one that will be genuinely enjoyed by the pediatric patients.
Upon returning to Gilman, Tully told the student volunteers, “I just want you to know that your actions today really mean something – to me, to my family, and I know this will make a difference in the lives of many kids at Hopkins Children’s Center. Thank you for making this possible.”