A kindergarten teacher in Minnesota is helping her students learn online while also battling a recurrence of ovarian cancer.
Kelly Klein spends time with her students in their virtual classroom every day, even during her chemotherapy treatments. She also declined to take time off for the treatments, according to CBS News.
“I was first diagnosed five years ago, and I did take leave then because I was really sick,” Klein told the outlet. “I missed teaching so much.”
Her class watches as she goes through her treatments, and the dedicated educator said, “What better way to spend four or five hours than with 5-year-olds. It makes the time pass quickly. It makes me smile.”
She teaches from “the doctor’s house,” which is her term for the Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota.
“I think they’re helping me be strong,” Klein said of her class from Falcon Heights Elementary. “Cuz it’s real easy to go down the ‘why me.'”
The wife and mother first battled cancer five years ago, then went back to normal life until it returned.
“I just had a really bad feeling that something might be up. Now that it’s returned it’s not curable, it’s terminal,” Klein explained.
School principal Beth Behnke realizes that most people in Klein’s situation would take time off.
“But Kelly came to me and said, please don’t make me. I said, absolutely not, let’s figure it out together,” the principal said.
Klein’s hair and eyebrows have begun to thin so she plans to address that with her class in the near future.
“I want them to see that cancer isn’t a death sentence,” she noted. “You can still be happy and playful and silly and funny and energized.”
The teacher also said she wants to be the best cheerleader for her students.
“So that they can know that they can do anything in this world. Maybe they’ll invent a cure for cancer. Wouldn’t that be wonderful,” she concluded.