For most 14-year-olds, entering their teenage years is a time for growth, both physically and emotionally, many of whom get involved with sports, and it’s similar for Skyview Junior High School’s Michael Albrecht, although the Bothell native’s path is a bit different than most.
Michael Albrecht was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. It’s so rare, only one case in a million is reported annually for people ages 10- to 20-years old.
But even through lengthy courses of treatment, Michael Albrecht has found a way to give back.
The teen partnered with Snap & Ties clothing, a “Hawks” themed clothing line which donates 20 percent of each sale to the Strong Against Cancer foundation and Seattle Children’s hospital.
“From the start, I knew I wanted to make a t-shirt,” Michael Albrecht said.
So they did, and the 14 year old set out to raise $1,000 for the foundation, and has a “Life Is A Roller Coaster, Pray Big,” shirt which will be released in early January.
They recently surpassed that goal through sales and donations from the community and other students at Skyview Junior High, with the school planning an assembly in 2016 to raise awareness.
Snap & Ties co-owner Tina Wittman said she hopes the students will be inspired by Michael Albrecht’s community-minded efforts, and said for her, the clothing is a way to tell the stories of children battling cancer.
Getting involved was important for their family, Liz Albrecht, Michael Albrecht’s mother said.
“It was kind of nice to have something positive to focus on,” she said.
For Michael Albrecht, the fundraising is just a part of his larger battle with cancer.
“You don’t know that much in the beginning, but it will all just place itself,” he said. “It’s like a puzzle, and every day is a piece, and as you go along you’ll see a bigger picture to everything.”
Even though he hasn’t quite got it all placed yet.
“It’s not totally done yet, so I don’t see the full picture, but I do know a lot more about myself after treatment than before,” he said.
The original copy of this story incorrectly stated Michael Albrecht’s shirt was “Blue Friday Brave.” His shirt is “Life Is A Roller Coaster, Pray Big,” which will be available starting the second week of January.