‘It takes a village:’ Basketball community comes together to support boy, 6, battling leukemia

Thielitz family

WAUKESHA -- A family is Waukesha is in the fight of their life after Benny Thielitz, 6, was diagnosed with cancer -- but they're not alone.

You can find a basketball game on a Friday night in a lot of high school gyms. On a recent Friday in Waukesha, Muskego visited Waukesha North -- but this was more than just a basketball game.

"Tonight the Waukesha School District, specifically Waukesha North school is putting on benefit for our son Benny," said Betsie Thielitz, Benny's mother.

Benny Thielitz

Benny Thielitz, 6, was diagnosed with cancer.

"He is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which was diagnosed this last November which happened to be his sixth birthday," Betsie Thielitz said.

Since his diagnosis, Benny has made progress.

"He's tolerating the chemo and he's got a good prognosis. He's doing really well, and so we are hopeful and excited to see how things turn out," Betsie Thielitz said.

"It's a celebration. It's an opportunity for us to show that he is doing well thus far. It's a good distraction for Benny. He just came off of a chemo treatment," Shawn Thielitz, Benny's father said.

Part of the celebration on this night included ditching the traditional school colors for an "Orange Out." Orange is the color of leukemia awareness for Benny and his family.

"It's just so nice to see all of their classmates, and friends and family that can come from far away to be able to come and support our family," Betsie Thielitz said.

T-shirts supporting Benny were sold, along with bracelets, with all of the proceeds benefiting the Thielitz family.

"It's amazing and it's overwhelming -- just this outpouring of support for our family has been wonderful," Betsie Thielitz said.

Benny Thielitz

"Watching friends family co-workers, people we haven't seen for years coming by, having the shirts on, just to say 'thank you,' I think that's the most important statement. I think that's the biggest thing for tonight," Shawn Thielitz said.

"It's a time for us to say our thank yous and express our gratitude for all the people that have come together to support us," Betsie Thielitz said.

In the end, more than $3,200 was raised for the family -- grateful to live in such a supportive community.

"It definitely touched us. We can't thank you enough. It takes a village to raise a family and you are all part of that," Shawn Thielitz said.

"Thank you everyone!" Benny Thielitz said.

CLICK HERE to access an online YouCaring fundraiser for Benny Thielitz and his family.