DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD) — The Dunlap community is coming together to support a Dunlap High School student battling terminal cancer on her 17th birthday.

On Tessa Sutton‘s 17th birthday, Dunlap students and #TeamTessa community members wore purple shirts to show their love and support. Some organizations tied purple bows to their signs.

“It’s Tessa’s favorite color and it lets her know that when she sees that we’re all thinking and praying for her… Purple to us reminds us of the power and the importance of banding together and loving everybody, especially Tessa,” said Mandy Ellis, principal of Dunlap Grade School.

Ellis said she hopes Tessa sees how much she means to the community.

“The biggest thing we want Tessa to know, on the day of her 17th birthday, is how incredibly loved she is, how much community support she has rallying behind her, and how much she’s made an impact on the lives of students here in Dunlap and across Central Illinois,” she said.

Ellis said they have sold hundreds of “Wear Purple for Tessa” shirts. Proceeds benefit the Sutton family, St. Jude, and Tessa’s eponymous foundation.

“The Tessa Sutton Foundation will carry her legacy into the future,” said Ellis.

To donate, click here.