Generous Classmate Inspires Community

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TOPEKA, Kan. - The spirit of the season is spreading in Topeka! 13 News first brought you the story Tuesday of Drake Herrman, who has now lit the community on fire to help a sick young lady he went to school with.

Drake is a seventh grader at Washburn Rural Middle School student who asked his parents to sell a Wii they got him and his siblings for Christmas so they could give that money to one of his classmates, Jessica Seidel.

Jessica has a rare blood disease and is undergoing chemotherapy, Her parents have to drive from Topeka to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to see her.

Drake's selflessness and generosity have inspired other families and students to give part of their Christmas to Jessica's family to help pay for gas to Kansas City and to put toward medical bills.

Drake's mom said Wednesday she's received more than $600 from other people to pass along to the Seidel family. That amount is in addition to the $260 his family raised from returning the Wii.

When 13's Amanda Lanum spoke with Drake Tuesday, he said giving up the Wii wasn't a big deal to him, especially when he thinks about what Jessica's going through.

"If I was sick I would be more than happy if people would give money to me and stuff for my family," he said.

Jessica's parents also wrote in an online journal how much they appreciate Drake and everyone who has reached out to them. Read Wednesday's journal entry at