Survivor inspires Valley Stream kids

Bella Tucker, 9, of New Hampshire, lost her arms and legs after getting a near-fatal infection last year.
Students in Richard Mansfield’s fifth-grade class at Clear Stream Avenue School have never met 9-year-old Bella Tucker, a girl from New Hampshire who lost both of her legs and arms to an infection last year. Yet they are doing what they can to make her life a little better.


Mansfield, who grew up in Lynbrook with Bella’s stepfather, Peter Roarty, and his students have organized a bake sale at the school this Friday to raise money for Bella’s many expenses. She needs extensive physical therapy and will also require new prosthetic limbs every year as she gets bigger.

Bella came down with a rare infection last April, Streptococcus Pneumonia Sepsis, and nearly died. Doctors initially said it was unlikely she would survive, but after five days in a coma, she began her recovery. A quadruple amputation was necessary to save her life.

Students in Mansfield’s class have been visiting other classrooms in the school, talking about Bella, her needs and the upcoming fundraiser. Some children also made posters that are hanging around the school to promote the bake sale.

“She is an amazing girl who is so very brave and strong,” said student Natasha Dhanraj.

The bake sale will take place during lunch and after school. There will be cupcakes and cookies for sale provided by parents, teachers and staff. The school nurse is even providing peanut free baked goods. “Bella Tucker” wristbands will also be on sale, as well as T-shirts.


Mansfield’s class is also putting together a video to send to Bella, with personal messages from each student. And the class is creating a journal to send, with pictures, messages and poems from students and teachers throughout the school.

The class hopes to raises $2,000 for Bella. Mansfield said he is appreciative of the compassion students have shown for her. “They all feel very passionate and connected to Bella,” he said, “even though they don’t know her.”

About the fundraiser

Cookies and cupcakes will be on sale at the Clear Stream Avenue School to raise money for the Bella Tucker fund.

When and where: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the cafeteria, and 3 to 4 p.m. outside the gymnasium.

Prices: $1 for three cookies or cupcakes, $5 for a “Bella Tucker” wristband and $10 for a T-shirt.

For more information about Bella, visit www.bellatucker.org

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