Multiple ways to support Rylie Wambeke and her family during tough time


Cassie Glenn

12-year-old Riley Wambeke in the Children’s Hospital of Colorado. Wambeke suffered from a brain bleed and emerged from a coma Dec. 29.

(ADVISER’S NOTE: This story was written before Christmas Break. At the time, Rylie Wambeke was emerging from a coma. The Powell School District had a blue jeans fundraiser in mid-December which raised in excess of $3,000 for the family.)

In the midst of a global pandemic, it can be forgotten that while lives continue on, so do hardships. But now a community has rallied together to help a young girl by the name of Rylie Wambeke.

“Rylie had a brain bleed, she had [brain] surgery on Nov. 18,” Wambeke’s mother Cassie Glenn said. “She’s still in a coma, but she’s recovering from it. She’s waking up slowly, she’ll kind of open her eyes… and she moves the left side of her body well. She’s starting to move some of the right side of her body, which is good because a lot of the brain damage was done on the left side of her brain.”

On Nov. 18, Wambeke got a headache causing her to have two seizures. She was admitted into a children’s hospital in Colorado and was taken to get a CT scan, which revealed blood around her brain. As of Dec. 29 Wambeke has woken up and will be undertaking therapy.

“Teachers and students have been inquiring about the family. Offering support in any way they can,” Powell Middle School counselor Brittany Wenke said. “The effects I’ve seen, especially during the holiday season, are outpours of love and compassion. This is especially evident in the recent fundraiser held by the district in which a significant amount of money was raised on the family’s behalf.”

Following the news of Wambeke, the community came together to help and support Wambeke and her family.

“… our church has been fasting and praying for her… I think pretty much the whole town of Powell has been praying for her,” Glenn said.  “We’ve had some very generous people and they’ve donated a little bit of money and they’ve been sending good messages and thoughts to our family.”

On Dec. 3, the middle school faculty had the option of paying to wear jeans as a fundraiser for Wambeke and her family. More schools in the district joined in on the fundraiser and on Dec. 9, faculty from Westside Elementary, Powell Middle School and Powell High School had the option to pay to wear jeans in order to help and support the family as well.

“It actually shows us how much we’re loved,” Glenn said. “… I’m grateful to have a small community who show love and support for Rylie and for our family.”

Anyone can donate to Wambeke and her family by going to the Pinnacle Bank and requesting to donate to Rylie Wambeke. Or if people would like to send well wishes and memories to Wambeke for when she wakes up, they can go to the Facebook page “Rally for Rylie” and request to join.

The journey ahead for Wambeke and her family is a long one, but with the support the community has offered, the family said that they don’t have to go through it alone.

“She’s slowly, but surely, improving; it’s going to be a very long process,” Glenn said.


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