Last summer I wrote a story about a young boy named Brock Scarpetta that is suffering from a degenerative illness called Batten Disease. This disease is rare and typically begins in childhood.  It's a neurological disorder which makes cells unable to recycle waste, so basically, Brock is deteriorating from the inside out.

It's an absolutely heartbreaking diagnosis, and Brock's family and friends are doing everything in their power to prolong this sweet boy's life with the hopes a cure will soon be found. According to Brock's website,; "We have seen a decline in Brock's eyesight, speech and mobility. He is still one happy, strong and courageous cowboy.  Brock is currently in school and has the best teachers, aides and therapists we could ask for."

Turns out there is a gene therapy treatment that has proven to stop the progression of Batten Disease in children afflicted with disease. It's one shot that costs two million dollars. A ridiculous amount of money that Brock's family and supporters are working hard to raise to essentially save this special boy's life.

Last week a teacher from Shirland Middle School named Rebecca Clinite reached out to us to acknowledge students from her school  "for what they are doing and to let them know how truly amazing they really are and the effect that they are having on their community!"

Acknowledge them we will. Here's what the Shirland students have done according to Ms. Clinite's email...

What started as an homework assignment has snowballed into something much bigger! Back in February of this year, after hearing some students talking about Brock, I assigned an essay that was going to be sent to the Ellen Show persuading her to help the Scarpetta family raise awareness for Brock who is battling Battens Disease...

After the essays were submitted, students asked if we could send the essays elsewhere in order to keep spreading the information.

I sent off the essays to the Rockford Ice Hogs, knowing that they are a fantastic organization who loves to support their community, and heard back quickly from Mike Peck. On top of this, our student council took the initiative and planned a Penny War fundraiser with all of the funds going during to the Scarpetta family. Over the course of two weeks (and with the incentive of two teachers who got the most money in their jugs dressing up in inflatable ballerina costumes and running an obstacle course) the students of Shirland School raised just over $700. Being a school made up of approximately 120 students, this is an amazing amount of money and means more coming from the kids who love Brock and the Scarpettas and want to help as much as they can.

What? I'm tearing up over this awesomeness, and so is their teacher who also said this in her email.

As a teacher in this school, I can honestly say I've never been as proud of any group of students as I have been this year and it's been so amazing watching these kids take charge and do everything they can and seeing all of their hard work pay off and watching them be proud of what they are doing.

The Rockford IceHogs treated Brock and the Scarpetta family to an awesome night at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Friday night. They were sitting in the suite next to us, and Brock was loving every minute. He got to meet a bunch of the Chicago Blackhawk players that were there, and even the Hawks' National Anthem singer, Jim Cornelison.

Brock and the entire Scarpetta need our support right now. Please consider making a donation to Cowboy Brock's Cause For A Cure now, here.

At last check, the fund had received $22,516.00 out of their $2 Million dollar goal. This one shot could save Brock's life, and we can't let this cute cowboy down.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook



More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5