Pink Up: Students support teacher battling cancer

(KFVS) - A little deed can go a long way, just ask some elementary and middle schoolers making a difference for their teacher who is battling cancer for the second time.

Scissors is all you need to know to show support, according to the middle schoolers at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Herrin.

Mason and Jaci are talking about their music teacher, Pat Wayer. She's a breast cancer survivor of 17 years but now she faces new challenges.

"I was diagnosed with oral cancer in June," she said. "I had surgery in July and then at the end of August I started chemo and radiation."

Wayer said the reason her speech is the way it is, is because of her tongue.

"Right now my biggest problem is my tongue is very swollen," she said. "I see the doctor next week."

Now that the six weeks of radiation is over for the tongue cancer, she still has to travel back and forth to the doctor in St. Louis and the expenses are piling up.

That's where students, parents and teachers are stepping in.

"As part of charity work for Catholics Schools Week, we decided to collect money for her and her family for the expense they've had throughout the surgeries and she had to go to St. Louis for chemo, so it's to help her offset some of the expenses that she's experiencing."

"I'm very grateful for them," Wayer said. "I'm just in awe they decided to do this for me."

"When anybody within our school family is in need, everybody steps up and is willing to help," teacher Kolbie Stuck said.

Parents submit their donations to the teachers and then the kids color a paw and they place it on the board that stands in the middle of the school's hallway.

"Teachers always tell us, it doesn't matter how small of an act of kindness it is, it doesn't matter if anybody sees it, you just have to do it and it's the right thing to do," student Jaci said.

Wayer said she's doing ok, the side effects are rough, but she's hanging in there.

"She's a fighter, it takes a lot of strength, a lot of energy for her to come to school every day," Stuck said.

"You just have to be as strong as you can and push through and keep going one day at a time," Wayer said.

Kolbie Stuck said the donations are still coming in. You can email kstuck@olmcschool.net for more information on donating.

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