Tim Gjoraas of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, doesn’t have much time left, but there’s no shortage of supportive people in his corner.
Terminal cancer forced the science teacher to retire at just 45 years old, but as far as his former coworkers are concerned, he’ll always be a beloved member of the Washington High School family. And family takes care of family!
Last year, Tim found out he had colon cancer. In the following months, his health took a turn for the worse, and then he got the news this July that he likely only has months left to live.
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He quickly packed up his classroom and dedicated every moment to spending time with his wife Lisa and their three children.
After accepting that he probably won’t be here in 2021, Tim began taking steps to ensure his loved ones will be taken care of.
While he was catching up with Doug Rinken, a friend and retired teacher, Tim asked him to repaint his house next summer. He explained that Lisa has always wanted to paint their brown walls blue.
Little did he know, the job would be finished much sooner!
One Saturday in September, Tim opened his doors to an incredible sight. Doug had shown up with paint sprayers, brushes, tarps — and about a dozen of Tim’s fellow teachers and friends!
This wasn’t the first time they had come through for him. After they heard about his diagnosis, they organized fundraisers to help with his medical bills.
“My community has really gone to bat for my family and I over and over and over,” Tim told CNN.
“Most teachers will tell you that at Washington we are a family,” explained Travis Dahle, Tim’s former coworker. “It’s just who we are. We love working with each other and being around each other.”
Thanks to their efforts, the project took less than a day! Of course, it left a permanent mark on the Gjoraas’ hearts.
“If you spend your life being a good person and hanging around good people, trying to make a positive impact on your community, if you need something, people show up,” Tim said. “It’s pretty amazing the outpouring of love my family’s had.”
What a powerful act of kindness! No matter what happens, Tim knows he and his family members will always be in their community’s heart. We’re sending them all our love!
Share this story as a reminder that true friends can brighten even the darkest times.
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