The Grandview Heights High School holiday concert Dec. 11 was dedicated to a former marching-band member who is battling a rare form of cancer.
The concert, featuring the high school concert band and jazz ensemble, served as a fundraiser to support Dylan Fitch and his family during their difficult time.
Fitch, a member of the Grandview class of 2018, has been diagnosed with nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, and is undergoing treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“Both Dylan and his twin brother, Hunter, were members of the band and his family has supported our school bands and other programs over the years,” said Lorena Caito, Grandview Band Parents Association president.
Fitch is taking time off from his freshman year at Ohio State University and is at home with his family during his treatment.
“This has been such an overwhelming thing to happen to Dylan,” Caito said. “He had just started his freshman year at Ohio State and after two months, he had to leave school to focus on getting treated.”
The holiday concert was held Dec. 11 in the high school auditorium.
Those attending the holiday concert were invited to add their message and signature to two giant cards that will be presented to Fitch, she said. Guests also were encouraged to contribute to a fund that has been set up to support Fitch and his family.
All contributions will be deposited directly into the Fitch Family Fund at Pathways Financial Credit Union.
Donations to the Fitch Family Fund also can be deposited directly at the Pathways office at 1445 W. Goodale Blvd. in Grandview.
A GoFundMe page also has been set up to accept donations. The page at GoFundMe.com/nncey5-team-dylan already has passed its $10,000 goal by more than $3,000.
The GoFundMe effort is being coordinated by Susan Jagers, a member of the band parents association whose son graduated last year with Dylan and Hunter Fitch.
“Grandview’s such a small, close-knit community,” Jagers said. “When something happens to one of ours, we all feel it.”’
The GoFundMe page’s success is another example of “how people step up for one another in Grandview,” she said.
Many members of the class of 2018 visited Fitch while they were home over the Thanksgiving holiday, she said.
“I know it lifted his spirits, and I think they were glad to see their friend and wish him well,” Jagers said. “A lot of his classmates have donated to our fund drive.”
Fitch “is just a nice, smart and funny kid,” she said. “It’s hard not to smile whenever you’re around him.”
Both Dylan and Hunter Fitch participated all four years in the high school band under the direction of Chris Herrmann.
“What I always appreciated about Dylan was his positive attitude, gracious conduct and his ability to make everyone around him feel upbeat and positive,” Herrmann said. “You always appreciate someone like Dylan because he has such a positive impact on the entire band.”
“His parents, Laura and Adrian, have been such huge supporters of the band program over the years,” he said. “We’re here as a community to support not only Dylan, but his parents and his brother.”
Caito said the great thing about Grandview is that when someone is in need, the community rallies around that person and gives their support.
“We’ve already been overwhelmed by the outpouring of caring and support for Dylan,” she said.
Fitch has shown remarkable courage and resiliency despite being dealt a tough hand, she said.
“Dylan’s always been such a funny kid – a great sense of humor and so smart,” Caito said. “Even with what he’s going through, he’s always got a smile on his face and never complains. He’s so courageous.”