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Aurora Elementary prepares to celebrate Mighty Myles

First-grader Myles Allen poses in an Iron Man costume. The 6-year-old West Fargo elementary school student is battling a nerve tissue cancer that usually affects young children. WDAY photo

A West Fargo elementary school is rallying around a much loved first-grader who has been fighting cancer most of his life.

In two weeks, the school is hosting a benefit for the boy, whose family moved to Fargo from Minot to be closer to Sanford Health's Roger Maris Cancer Center. The "Mighty Myles" benefit will raise money for 6-year-old Myles Allen, who is fighting a cancer that affects the nervous system.

In Mrs. Kratcha's first grade class at Aurora Elementary, Myles Allen was all business during reading time on Monday March 11. Ask anyone about the quiet, shy young boy and they all say the same thing.

"A sweet kid, just a kind soul. As (his) mom and I were talking about, it is like he has an old man's soul," said Nikki Anderson, a school counselor at Aurora Elementary.

Monday was one of Myles' last days at the school for a while — he is battling the return of stage 4 neuroblastoma, a cancer that primarily affects children, and will be out of school for days while going through 17 cycles of chemotherapy.

His mother, Monique Allen, says Myles was first diagnosed with the cancer shortly after his third birthday.

"I have never heard him complain," said the single mother who moved Myles and his brother to Fargo to be close to cancer care.

Now, Myles' new friends at Aurora Elementary are throwing a big benefit for him and his family, since his mom is unable to work while he is in treatment.

"I am super grateful for everyone who is working so hard on this event, we can't say thank you enough," Monique Allen said.

Myles is a walking superhero encyclopedia. He wears costumes, draws them and knows everything about them.

"Superheroes are a big thing, he knows all the enemies, all the characters, he plays with action figures, he has all the costumes," Allen said.

He takes that power with him when he gets his cancer treatment, and it's rubbing off on his school friends and teachers. Anderson said they've learned a lot from Myles.

"The best experiences we have are what happens in life," she said. "We can teach empathy, and actually being able to experience and watch them care for him . . . is the best life lesson you can have."

The "Mighty Myles" benefit is set for 5 p.m., Friday, March 22 at Aurora Elementary, 3420 Ninth St. W. in West Fargo. There will be food, games, music and a silent auction.

More information on the benefit can be found at the Lend a Hand Up website.