MERIDIAN -- Students and parents at The Ambrose School are coming together to help one of their own.

Paul Drury is an eighth-grader who was diagnosed with leukemia in April. On Thursday, his school community is putting on a race to lift his family up during this extremely difficult time.

Word about the Greater 5K run/walk spread quick and far. As of Wednesday afternoon, a little less than 300 people were signed up. Their goal is to raise enough money to help with the financial burdens the Drury family is taking on.

Paul's friends want him to know, they're standing by him, as is the entire Ambrose School.

"It was extremely hard to find out he had leukemia because a couple weeks earlier he was fine, he would go outside, he'd kick the ball around, play football," Paul's friend, Aiden Culligan, said.

"One day he's happy and healthy, all systems a go. And then the next day he's in a fight for his life," father of a student at Ambrose and race organizer, Chris Browne, told KTVB.

Paul's friends say, you wouldn't even know he is sick; through his diagnosis and chemotherapy, they say Paul comes off positive and collected.

"I'm sure he struggles and is feeling disappointed, but you don't see that," he said.

But in December, Paul is heading to Seattle to get a bone marrow transplant, which prompted The Ambrose School community to step up and help the Drury family.

"To let them know that they're not in their fight alone, that as a community we love them," Browne added.

Thursday's race is free, but organizers are collecting cash donations and money from T-shirt and hat sales. Every cent raised will go directly to the Drury family.

Browne says they are new to the area, and don't have family nearby. He told a story about when the Druries first moved here from New Jersey, they asked God and themselves: "Why Idaho?"

"When they received Paul's diagnosis, Tracy Drury said now we get it. God moved us from New Jersey so we would be part of this loving school community who would support us through this process. And to hear that from a mom who's in that situation is super humbling," Browne said.

The Greater 5K starts at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving morning at the Eagle Sports Complex. The course winds through the beautiful foothills in Eagle and is slightly longer than a normal 5K distance.

To register, visit this link.