TJ Diggins is no stranger to giving back. His business Everything Ice Cream in Anna has worked with nonprofit organizations in the past to raise money for food and toys, but when Diggins learned about a North Texas teacher’s fight against cancer he knew he had to help.
“We really didn’t do it to be recognized or anything,” Diggins said. “We just did it because it needed to be done. That’s how we felt.”
On May 12 Diggins drove his ice cream truck to Roach Middle School in Frisco and donated 10 percent of the profits to Noah Amland’s medical fund.
At just 51-year-old Noah Amland was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an extremely aggressive form of brain cancer. He taught seventh grade Texas History at Roach Middle School for 12 years before recently being forced to take a leave of absence to undergo radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
“I just, I wasn’t feeling quite right,” Amland said. “And my language skills weren’t really strong for some reason.”
The Tribune spoke to Amland by phone after the fundraiser. He said the outpouring of support he’s received from both from students, staff teachers, and residents in the community has been overwhelming.
“I’m appreciative beyond words,” he said. “They really have done a lot and there’s no way that I can possibly show them the kind of respect and admiration I have for them.”
The fundraiser raised $8,500 for Amland, $100 of that coming from the profits earned by Diggins’ ice cream truck at the event.
Afterwards, Diggins said he felt his business could do more. He decided to donate 10 percent of the profits earned from the whole weekend, May 20-21.
“He was just in shock,” Diggins said. “He was just very appreciative that we were doing something for him. He wasn’t expecting anything like this. Especially to find out we’re doing the whole weekend for him.”
In all Everything Ice Cream raised $220 that weekend. Diggins said they decided to round up the number to $250, and then decided to match it with a $250 donation of their own, donating $500 in all.
“No matter what happens to Noah, bills still are going to be there,” Diggins said. “They always will pile up and the family is left to take care of it. It should be a community thing that whenever someone needs help to reach out and help them.”
Amland has two children and said he’s doing everything he can to beat the cancer.
“I’m doing everything in my power to beat this,” he said. “I just, I want to live. Whatever happens, I’m going to do whatever I can to fight this thing and win.”
To donate to Amland’s medical fund visit www.youcaring.com/noahamlandj-76508