HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Teachers in Huntsville, Alabama are pooling their sick days to help another educator and his wife after their baby daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
Megan Green, whose husband David teaches social studies and coaches football at Mae Jemison High School, made a plea on Facebook for sick day donations so they could be with their baby Kinsley while she is treated in Birmingham, about 100 miles away.
Kinsley Green was diagnosed with cancer when she was 10 months old. She has been undergoing chemo since October and still has many months of treatment to go. This means mom and baby spend many nights away from dad.
Word of the sick day drive spread to other schools after local TV news station WHNT did a story about the Greens.
“One of our teachers took the news story and emailed it out to the entire faculty,” said Goldsmith Schiffman Elementary Principal Jennifer Douthit.
Teachers at the school banded together to donate a month’s worth of days to the family.
“You know, you want to send words of encouragement, you want to do something to help, but this was a real physical way that we could help him and his family,” said Anna Kachelman, a first grade teacher at the school.
Lakewood Assistant Principal Wilma DeYampert told WHNT she knows what the family is going through on a very personal level.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer February 21st. It’s invasive ductal carcinoma,” she said. “My momma always told us, you don’t have to be right to bless someone. So, I felt like that was a blessing to him.”
She too is currently undergoing chemo. She ended up donating two days to the family. “If I had more to give I would give him more,” she said.
Keith Ward, communications director for Huntsville City Schools, said there is a sick leave bank for Huntsville teachers just for times like this.
“It’s critical to be able to help them when they need help,” Ward told WHNT in March. “It allows individuals who are members of the sick leave bank to borrow from that bank should they be in a situation where they’ve used all of their available sick and personal leave time.”
The Greens only needed about 40 days. Teachers and administrators donated more than 100 so David can take time off to be with his baby whenever his family needs him to.