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Teachers school each other to help families’ wishes come true

BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- Teachers from rival high schools faced off in a basketball game Monday night to raise money for charity.

Legacy High School is raising money for Love Your Brain Foundation. It helps improve the quality of life for people with dramatic brain injuries.

Broomfield High School is sponsoring Mila Makovec and Owen McLaughlin, and proceeds from the school's Wish Week will go to their causes.

Makovec has Batten disease, a neurodegenerative disease. It's fatal and many children die before they reach their teens.

Makovec's family is trying to raise $4 million for a clinical trial. Five years ago, doctors said there wasn't much hope for people with Batten disease but now science is making progress, and a clinical trial would go a long way.

"That is the only thing that gives hope to our daughter and our family and so many families around the world that are given no hope," said Makovec's mom, Julia Vitarello.

McLaughlin was diagnosed with a progressive and in-operable brain tumor shortly after his first birthday.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers helped get him an adaptive stroller. Now Broomfield High School is raising money to send McLaughlin's family to Walt Disney World.

"It would be amazing just to get away from the hospital, things he can't do right now. Get away, go to the beach, have fun for once," said McLaughlin's mother, Rachel Hurtado.

Throughout the game, students from both sides cheered on their teachers from the stands.

"The key is, 'Let's keep it close, have fun, and hopefully all of us can get up and go to work tomorrow morning," said Broomfield gym teacher Jimmy Zechmann.

"I played [basketball] in middle school once, but that's about it so we'll see how it goes," said Legacy teacher Tyler Arko.

Teachers on both sides put up a good fight, but in the end, Legacy took home the win. They took home 75 percent of the proceeds from admissions to the game, while Broomfield took home 25 percent.

Broomfield High School is hosting events all week for Makovec and McLaughlin to raise money. The goal is to raise $20,000 and split it between the children.

In addition to the fundraiser, Mila's Miracle Foundation together with Robin Hickenlooper, Gov. John Hickenlooper's wife, are hosting a benefit at the Governor's Mansion on April 10.

Donations for the clinical trial that could save Makovec's life and others like her can be made at StopBatten.org. To donate to McLaughlin's cause, visit Wish.org.