An entire community in Franklin, Indiana, is rallying around a beloved teacher who is battling cancer.
Following her first round of chemotherapy, Cheek said she reluctantly told the principal of Franklin Community Middle School that she needed to take time away to undergo treatment.
“I couldn’t do that to my students. I knew I wouldn’t be 100%, and in middle school, you have to be 100% or get out,” the teacher stated.
When everyone at the school heard about Cheek’s diagnosis, they immediately took action to help by organizing a meal train and gathering items for gift baskets to be auctioned off at a fundraiser.
“She is one of the most caring of people, and has influenced me a lot,” said fellow seventh-grade teacher, Shanna Gaunt.
“She has been a model for me, someone I looked up to, not only for advice on how to be a good teacher, but for family advice,” she stated.
Friday, students and teachers held a “Cap Day” so anyone who brought in donations for the Cheek family could wear a hat to class:
Don’t forget tomorrow is hat day! Bring $1 to support Mrs. Cheek.
— FCMS (@FCMS_Cubs) February 27, 2020
She also received a box of cards that contained get well wishes and other kind messages, some of which were written by students she had yet to meet.
“It’s humbling. How do you say ‘thank you’ for something like this? You can’t. You just say it and hope it’s enough,” Cheek commented.
Stephanie and Greg Fox organized a spaghetti supper, silent auction, and gospel music concert to raise money to help with Cheek’s medical bills.
“Karon and Bobby are great friends of ours and we felt that God wanted us to help them in this time of need,” the couple explained.
Even though enduring treatment has been difficult, Cheek said being away from her students has been just as hard.
“Those relationships, that’s one thing I miss. I have my family, I have my support group, but the interaction with the kids is amazing,” she commented, adding, “There’s a whole year of kids I won’t know, and it hurts sometimes. But I’m looking forward to being back in August.”