I received this letter from GoFundMe about this Winnipeg story in the memory of a young teacher whose legacy will benefit children in need, and just had to share it with you:
I wanted to share this heartwarming (and heart-wrenching) story about the community coming together to donate more than $24k in less than two weeks, in memory of a young Winnipeg wife and teacher, to purchase books for children in need.
Nicole Willows, fondly known as Ms. Willows to her students, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013. Despite this diagnosis and emergency surgery to remove the majority of her colon, she returned to teach the students she loved only a week later. Scans continued to come back negative, and Nicole and her husband, Matt Creighton, used this cherished time to the fullest: planning their dream wedding and house, and traveling around the world.
In the spring of last year, a routine scan showed enlarged lymph nodes and a spot on Nicole’s liver. Nicole continued her fight, but was eventually unable to continue teaching and sadly passed away on April 9, 2016. In memory of his loving wife and inspiring teacher, Matt created a GoFundMe campaign in order to raise funds to supply schools in need with enough books for every child. He hopes this campaign will raise enough to supply books to a local school every February for “I love reading month.” To date, this campaign has exceeded expectations by raising $24,300 in only 11 days.
Now, I’ll give you just a snippet from the GoFundMe page, if you can handle reading more of the heartbreaking and heartmending story, you can find it on the page here.
My wife Nicole (Ms Willows) was an amazingly dedicated elementary school teacher who gave everything she had to her kids and received so much joy in return. We have all had that special teacher that helped shape our lives and Nicole was one of those. Nicole comes from a family of teachers (in fact her dad was my grade 8 home room teacher) and since the young age of 6 she only ever wanted to teach.
Despite living a very healthy and active life style Nicole was diagnosed with colon cancer two and a half years ago. The symptoms had those of being pregnant so you can imagine our shock when we found out the cause of these symptoms was not the start of our family but the start of an extremely tough journey. Nicole was in the hospital for one month taking us through November/December of 2013 and during that time she had to have emergency surgery which resulted in most of her colon being removed. She returned to work within one week of being discharged despite her doctors saying she should stay off. As her husband I initially sided with her doctors notion and thought she needed to stay off however days after she was release I was convinced otherwise. We had made plans in December to attend to her school so she could visit her kids and watch their Christmas play. This is when I realized how special of an effect she truly had on her kids and how much she received in return from them. I have trouble putting the events of that day into words so all I can say is the energy exchanged between Ms Willows and her kids was something that movie scripts are written about. That was when I knew that I needed to support her decision and help her in any way I could so that she could be in class teaching as much as possible. Let it be noted that Nicole’s special ability to engage children didn’t stop with her class. Nicole was able to spread her gift throughout Crestview which she lovingly passed along to all the students and teachers in a way that one cannot describe. <more>