6th grade teacher Carol Clark, a Cudahy, California native, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. The good news? She beat it. The bad news? She had to use 17 years worth of sick days and allotted vacation time to go to doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and chemotherapy.
After a mastectomy, she returned to Jaime Escalante Elementary School for 2 months, but she soon had a severe reaction to the chemo. She had to be hospitalized, and as a result, lost her vacation days and was unable to receive her summer pay. Through all the time lost, she lost her medical and salary benefits. That’s when her husband Dave Clark swooped in to help.
Also a teacher at the elementary school, Dave did some research and found the Catastrophic Illness Donation Program. The program allows for fellow teachers to donate their sick days to those who had to leave because of an illness. Dave put a sign-up sheet in the teacher’s lounge for teachers for anyone to donate up to 20 sick days to Carol, and the generosity of the teachers was overwhelming. Carol’s faith in humanity was restored because of how kind and selfless her colleagues were, as many donations coming from people Carol had never even met.
154 days total. Teachers gave up their own paid leave days to donate 154 days to Carol, almost an entire school year’s worth. Carol could now recover salary lost and save some sick days for future surgeries.
Image via Kindness Blog
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