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Preston Elementary Students Show Support For Ailing Teacher

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 Students, staff and faculty coming together for one of their own. 

     
Blue was the color at Preston Elementary today, blue for colon cancer awareness month, and for a 4th grade teacher recently diagnosed.

She was diagnosed just one month ago. A cat scan, a colonoscopy and a tumor surgically removed.

Fourth grade teacher Jen Westphal is battling colon cancer and what this 4th grade teacher is up against isn't easy.

"I'm young, I'm 44-years-old, so for me to be diagnosed with colon cancer and I'm stage 2, is mind boggling for me," Westphal said.
     
Fortunately, she has the support of her entire school to help her get through it all.

"I am very humbled by all of the support that I've been shown," she said.

"We simply sent a note home that blue was the color for colon cancer awareness and we encouraged the kids to wear blue in support of Miss Westphal," fellow fourth grade teacher Heidi Lippens said.
     
More than 200 students and their teachers showed up for school with the blues.

"Because, our teacher has cancer," student Darin Banowetz said.
     
Which has Miss Westphal feeling anything but blue.

"Very overwhelming. I love my school, I love Preston Elementary, I love my class, I love teaching here, my coworkers are a great support system," Westphal said.

"I wanted to do it in support of our teacher and make her feel happy," 4th grader Cortlyn Lane said "I think it makes her feel happy."
     
And just like a teacher, Jen Westphal hopes to use this day as a learning experience for her fellow faculty, her students and even their parents.

"Just to make people aware that it's out there and you don't have to be over 50 to have colon cancer," Westphal said.

And while she continues to teach, she's happy to know how many people are here to encourage her.

 "And to have the support of not only my coworkers but also the community. That means a lot to me and to my family," Wesphal said.

 

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