Friday, May 29, 2015

LIVE STRONG Week at Huntsville ISD

Earlier this month, Huntsville Intermediate's Fifth Grade PE teacher Brad Didier, decided to celebrate LIVESTRONG Week a little differently than he had before.

Cancer Survivor Rebecca Turner of HISD's Technology Department and Coach Brad Didier,
Fifth Grade Physical Education Teacher at Huntsville Intermediate School

Coach has been a leader in the cancer outreach organization for years, and brought his passion for the cause when he arrived at the district a few years ago.  This year, he wanted to take a leap forward, and he made that leap by jumping in his car and visiting district employees who have been affected by cancer.
Special Delivery! Coach heads out for one of his five consecutive day deliveries!

His message?  That they are worthy of honor, that they are not alone and that LIVESTRONG can help them and their families in their fight against cancer.  What was their message?  Well of course each of their stories are unique, but they all share the same themes that include the powers of courage, love, humor, grace and the importance of a strong family in the fight against cancer.  They also shared that when it comes to fighting cancer, there are good days, and there are bad days.

Barbara Didier 

For Coach Didier, it's personal.  He lost his older sister Barbara Didier back when he was in high school.  Barbara was diagnosed with brain cancer and died at age 23.  As Coach describes it, what followed was a long time of mourning and loss, but not a lot of direction or sense of purpose for him.

Coach Didier meets Ms. Laura Campbell of Mance Park Middle School.
Coach comes equipped with a bouquet,
information on LIVESTRONG and an understanding and desire to listen.

Coach hadn't found a way to channel his energy & grief into a purpose. He found that sense of purpose through his relationship with his then girlfriend (now wife!) Jennifer.

Brad and Jen at a Dallas Stars hockey game.
Jennifer's immediate family had also been affected by cancer, and Jennifer was able to direct her energies to something positive through her work with LIVESTRONG.  Coach Brad saw all the good Jen was doing, and how all of this good work fulfilled her.

Our Students May be Young, But They are Strong!
Huntsville Intermediate student  Jonathan Taylor Ross is one tough dude!

Have you read the news?
HIS's Mrs. Michelle Jeske supports LIVESTRONG week!

For those of you that aren't familiar with the LIVESTRONG non profit, their mission is to "engage friends, families and community members in collective action to make cancer a priority.  Led by cancer survivors and supporters, these individuals work within their local communities to raise awareness, reduce stigma and generate funding to for the cancer fight."

Mrs. Kimberly Cardoza and Mrs. Shelley Ancira,
Rocking the Live Strong T-Shirts and the Jonathan Taylor and Big George Ancira wristbands.  

Since then, Coach Didier and his wife Jen have worked to promote the LIVESTRONG mission, and when they moved to Huntsville, they brought their passion with them.

Huntsville Intermediate School is the epicenter for the LIVESTRONG week here at Huntsville ISD.

Huntsville Intermediate School's Mr. Phillip Kiser
Mr. Kiser's mom insisted that he and his brothers go every year for a prostrate check.
Prostate cancer runs in the Kiser family, and his father died from the disease.
He credits his mom for getting him and his brothers early treatment.
She died from multiple myeloma cancer in 2006.

Huntsville Intermediate School's Susan Cook's Motto is:
Stay Strong, Stay Hopeful and Keep the Faith!

Huntsville Intermediate's Kathy Goree had a double mastectomy in 2006 
for ductal cell carcinoma cancer. 
She has had several surgeries, and if you are a woman with any questions 
about breast cancer or reconstructive DIEP flap surgery, she would be happy to talk to you!
Ms. Samantha Osbourn was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma 
over Spring Break of her first year of college.  Samantha's message is that you are not alone. 
 She didn't know a single person  her age who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, until she discovered STUPID CANCER, a nonprofit advocacy group for young adults with cancer.
You can find more information about that group here.   
If you any questions, don't hesitate to contact her.

Scott Johnson's Mrs. Myla Weber credits her family, 
friends and students in helping her through her journey.
She also found power and meaning in caring for her fellow chemotherapy patients by cooking!
She saw their suffering, and by preparing soup for them to eat 
during the weekly treatments at the doctor's office, she found a way to focus her energies on others.

Mrs. Elaine Kane at Huntsville High School has fought leukemia twice along with lung cancer.
She brushes off descriptions of her being tough, but she's quick to describe her family that way.
She says they have been through a lot.  "On the cancer journey, there are are a lot of potholes!"

Huntsville High School's Lisa Black-Fuller and her son Mason.
Mason was 23 months old when he was diagnosed with ALL leukemia.
He had chemotherapy for the next four years. Lisa was moved and inspired by the community, especially the children in the play room,  at MD Anderson Hospital.  As she watched them play, she was consistently reminded that kids are kids, and that, regardless of their illness, they still want to do what every other kid wants to do- play and have fun!
She also found wisdom in the mantra: Take One Day at a Time.

#BRINGIT !!!!!!!!!!
We miss you Big George Ancira!!!!

At HIS, Mrs. Shelley Ancira along with the faculty and staff celebrate the life of her husband Big George Ancira.  Mr. Ancira died of pancreatic cancer earlier this school year, and is deeply missed.

There are many folks in our district that have been affected by cancer that are not mentioned in this post.  We understand that there are many reasons that you would decline to participate in this post.  However, if you are reading this post and you or a loved one is fighting cancer, we invite you to contact Coach Brad Didier at Huntsville Intermediate School.  

He would love the opportunity to put you in contact with LIVESTRONG resources that can help you and your family, and he would love to hear you share your story.  Live Strong!

HIS's Coach Marcus Williams and IA Mrs. Joy Woods share the spirit!

Have Flowers, will travel!
Sicily Pierce and Ginny Laws of Heartfield Florist,
Sicily's mom, Cindy Pierce owns the flower shop.  We thank them for their donation of these beautiful flowers!
Heartfield Florist, 1525 Sam Houston Avenue, Huntsville, TX 77340

Hornet Proud- Huntsville Hornets Sting Cancer!

What does the back say?

Unity is Strength.
Knowledge is Power.
Attitude is Everything.

Mrs. Jaleesa Searcey has the spirit!

The Spirit is everywhere- including in the Library!
Huntsville Intermediate Librarian Mrs. Melissa Fry 

It's "GO TIME!"

Coach Didier and Ms. Laura Campbell

Rebecca Turner, you are next!

Building a community, one hug at a time.

No comments:

Post a Comment