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Teacher Moved to Hospice After Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis Gets Stunning Surprise from Students

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Teachers who stick with their profession for the long run are often among the most dedicated, selfless people, prioritizing countless young people’s development over their own needs.

Not all of them get to see how much they’ve impacted the lives they’ve touched, but one elementary school teacher from Greenfield, Wisconsin, who made education her life recently got a tear-jerking show of gratitude.

Carol Mack has taught at least two generations of students during her 45 years at Christ Lutheran School in Big Bend. This was her last year teaching, as she has stage 4 cancer.

Despite her state, the 66-year-old continued teaching this year until she couldn’t anymore. On Nov. 3, she was moved from Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee to hospice care — but not before getting a beautiful sendoff.

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“Yesterday, 26 students lined up outside the hospital entrance,” Aurora Health Care shared on Facebook on Nov. 4.

“Carol was there to greet her current and former students, including some of their parents whom she also taught, and hear the kids sing worship songs to her.”

The students, representing the first through fourth grades, probably don’t know how much it meant to their teacher to show up for her in that way, but many others do.

“When I saw her and the kids singing, it was the most rewarding thing,” Luiza Campols, one of the nurses caring for Mack, said, according to WDJT-TV. “We were very lucky to be a part of that. It was the most beautiful, touching thing.”

“She didn’t have children of her own but has more kids than she could ever count,” occupational therapist and church member Nicole Bartnik added.

“To see so much love coming back to somebody that is so selfless and deserving, it is a true blessing.”

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Many people chimed in on the hospital’s post to share how she had taught them or their children, or both. Many recalled her being one of their favorite teachers, and most expressed their thanks for her work and their sincere belief that she will be going to a better place.

“This is beautiful,” one person wrote. “Ms. Mack was a teacher I was blessed to have. What an amazing example of servanthood she has been all these years leading Jesus’s little lambs.”

“She was so special!” another wrote. “Recognized my son’s color blindness in first grade many years ago back in 1979-80.”

“Godspeed Mrs. Mack and safe travels, God has more work for you in his school,” a third commented.

Even though the event was put on for her, in true teacher style, Mack’s wish was that other people would find it enlightening.

“It was overwhelming and very special,” she said. “I hope people see how much these kids and their teacher loved each other and how our school community came together.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking