SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - His teachers say he's a joy to have in the classroom. His positive attitude is the best and he's a true inspiration to his classmates. We caught up with 17-year-old Michael Peltier in his 11th grade English class, it is a challenging class but he knows all about challenges.
Michael has cystic fibrosis and is waiting for a lung transplant. When he's not in class, he's in and out of the hospital.
Some would say that's a lot for a 17-year-old to handle, but not for Michael. Despite his illness, he still remains a top student at Savannah Arts Academy. "I have learned not to let it affect me as much as others think that it does," he said.
Even though Michael misses a lot of classes because of treatments, he still manages to keep up with his homework. "I do it on my own when I am not here. So, I do a lot by myself," said Michael. "I've learned it's not that hard and I've learned to teach myself over the years."
That dedication is why school counselor Lauren Brantley nominated him to be a WTOC Top Teen. "When he arrives to school he is so upbeat and has a positive attitude. I think what impresses me the most is the ability he has to manage his life," said Brantley.
His classmates and other students at Savannah Arts Academy think the world of Michael. In October, they started a campaign to help Michael's family pay for the lung transplant. The students started making and selling pins at school events.
So far they have raised almost $6,000 and counting. "I was surprised and baffled that they were gonna do a fundraiser for me. I was like wow, and I am amazed by how far it's gone," said Michael.
And they aren't done yet. The students plan to continue raising as much money as they can. They say Michael is such an inspiration to them and we couldn't agree more. "I really thinks it's cool to get noticed for all the work I have to do it's cool," he said.
If you would like to help support Michael, you can contact Savannah Arts Academy at 912.201.5000