The whole of Cathedral High School turned out for a huge show of support this week for a classmate battling cancer.
More than 1,600 students, teachers and administrators packed the Carmel Valley, San Diego, school’s football stadium, all wearing red – the school color — in support of sophomore Bryce Newman.
Support for Bryce, who battles an aggressive form of brain cancer, has united the school before. Last fall, players on the school’s junior varsity football team all shaved their heads in support of their teammate, who was unable to play a single snap.
Tuesday's school-wide photo was first intended to be a smaller affair. But Cathedral staffer Anne Pickard thought bigger. She asked the principal to get the entire school involved and he did, asking each student to wear red that day.
“We thought it was only like two classes and it ended up being the whole school, so it was pretty cool,” Bryce said.
In addition, his football team has collected $4,500 in donations for Bryce.
But a photograph captured what could be the most powerful moment off all, when every student and staff member raised their hands towards Bryce in the center as a symbolic gesture of strength and support.
No one knew it but their timing couldn’t have been more perfect, considering the tough news he'd received just days before.
Doctors believe that, despite grueling treatment, Bryce's cancer has now recurred.
His dad, Rick Newman, told NBC 7 his family is overwhelmed with emotion over the school’s gesture.
“It’s the best high school in America,” Newman said.
You can follow Bryce’s journey on the family’s Facebook page.