In the weeks before 14-year-old Megan Rose Rust passed away on Jan. 11, her mother, Melissa Rust, wanted to spend as much time with her ailing daughter as she could. So she took a few weeks off work.
To help offset some of those lost wages, Hillsboro High School, where Megan was a popular freshman, is raffling off two baskets full of items valued at $2,800, according to Angie Juillerat, a secretary at the high school.
“Our hope is to help the family get their feet back on the ground and give them a fresh start,” Juillerat said. “We’re hoping to raise $3,500 and if we make it over that we would be thrilled.”
Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased at the high school office from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The winner will be announced Feb. 12.
When she was 5 years old Megan was diagnosed with mucolipidosis II, or I-cell disease, a rare condition that causes critical enzyme deficiencies. The doctors said she would not live to see her eighth birthday. She passed that by six-plus years.
Last year, Megan, who had been a cheerleader at school, had to have her hip joint removed due to an infection, and although the doctors said it was possible she could walk again, she never bounced back. In November of last year, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She became very ill two weeks before her death.
“Megan was really one of those special kids you will not forget. Her cute little personality just drew you in to love her. She was sassy and vibrant,” Juillerat said. “Megan was all about glitter, sparkles and was such a diva. She would come in my office and harass me a little every day. She would always ask if I had any candy or gum – which I always did – and of course try to get a colored pen or two from me. I had a hard time saying no to her.
“She would always want to hear a little music from my Pandora station while she was visiting me, too. I’m just one staff member out of many whose life she touched. We all have our Megan stories. I’ve worked for the school system for 21 years and I’ve met some pretty amazing kids. Megan was one of those students. It didn’t matter how sick she was, she would still be smiling and want to know how you were doing. She was a blessing and we all loved her so much. She will be greatly missed by all.”
More than 50 individuals and businesses have donated items for the baskets, including a set of four Columbus Blue Jackets tickets valued at $600 and $100 in cash. Other items include: Ohio State T-shirt, Lisa’s Primitives angel, Sweet Minerals makeup, four Newport Aquarium tickets, Holtfield gift card, Bob Evans gift card, Color Street nail strips, Yankee Candle, two packs of greeting cards, 31 small bag, Visa gift card, Vera Bradley cologne, S&K Dairy Cup gift card, Janie’s Closet gift certificate, Paul Mitchell Hair Care, Photos by EmmyLee gift card, Just My Type jewelry, Color Me Crazy 31 bag, Paul Mitchell Salon gift certificate, Highland Auto certificate for $100 off tires, Vera Bradley candles, Town & Country gift certificate, crocheted ponytail hat, stadium blanket, Chuck Wait Tire gift card, Biron Auto Sales gift certificate/coffee mug, Bath and Body items, candles/body spray, thermal camo mug, Paparazzi jewelry, antique decor, quilt, 31 bag, Vera Bradley bag, Bath and Body lotion/gels, homemade candles, candle, YMCA three-month membership, Pap’s Hill Top Honey soaps/body butter lotion/honey, one-month unlimited tan and bottle of lotion, two Spirit Wear T-shirts, cowbell, two Details Salon gift certificates, The Beauty Room gift certificate, primitive decor, Starbucks gift card, Frisch’s gift card, free haircut, burlap wreath and burlap framed sign, wooden sign, soaps, lotion, balm, jewelry, scarves and head wrap, Joannes Cakes coupon, Proctor and Gamble products, wristlet bag, bracelet.
For more information Juillerat can be reached at 937-393-3485.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected].