Sarah George: The Fight
October 10, 2017
She is young-wise beyond her years. She is structured- always on schedule and making sure deadlines are made. She is a strong, independent woman that dedicates her life to helping others learn and caring about kids like us. We see her in the hallways giggling with Mrs. Sexe and Mr. Carlson, we see her grading papers hard at work, and we see her human to human devoting all of her possible effort into helping us students with the impossible- PreCalculus. But many of us go through the motions daily without really understanding Mrs. George and her situation. We have all heard, yet maybe have never understood at a deeper level…we have seen the buttons, heard the whispers-
Two years ago, out of the blue, Mrs. George was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s something we all know about and have supported at some point in our lives; it’s the 5k we have all walked, the pink in October that we have all worn. Many of us know of victims that the disease has tried to overtake, like Mrs. George. Though, her situation was unique compared to others, “I just had bad luck,” she said. Being only 31 at the time of diagnosis- it was a fairly rare situation, yet she was able to overcome a lot in a short amount of time. “A Lot of it is a blurr to me, it all went really fast; Chemo sucked. But it worked. I did radiation, now i’m done, and i’m here.” she said, with closure in her voice and relief in her eyes.
Despite going through chemo and radiation, doctors appointments and other treatments, we never saw a lapse in Mrs. George’s effort to continue her dedication to her job and to the students she had. “I’m glad I worked through it, it made it so I didn’t dwell on it,” she said. And when I described her as, ‘brave and strong’ she shrugged and said, “I don’t see that about me, I just think it’s just another thing. I was fortunate, I mean I was dealt a crappy year, but I’m still very fortunate that I did really well through it.” From the perspective of a student- Mrs. George seemed like a superhero, even though it is cliche, Mrs. George was battling the impossible- disease, work, life at its lowest point. But to Mrs. George, it was just another hurdle to overcome. “I mean there is so many people that have it way worse than i did. I am really fortunate. It’s weird to say that you’re fortunate with cancer, but I was. It sucked, it was a bad kind of cancer but i’m fortunate that by the time I went to have surgery it was gone. A Lot of people… they don’t have another chance at life or another chance to move on, and if I can, then I have to. I think if I was the one on the other end and it was worse off, then I would want other people who did get a second chance to enjoy it.” She said with a smile on her face and appreciation in her eyes. Not only has this superhero fought to accomplish the impossible, her viewpoint on life has become so inspiring for all of us at FMHS. Because of that, much of the school has reached out to her, which has been a blessing and a challenge in her life, “It’s weird to have somebody do something for me, I’m normally the one doing stuff for others going through a hard time, but all of you guys last year were great. I cannot express my appreciation enough. The choir kids did a bake sale fundraiser for me, Mrs. Sexe was a lifesaver, all of the staff and students were great.” she expressed. It had become a parallel outcome from what Mrs. George is used to, for she is used to helping us- and instead of the topic being PreCalc, it was others showing love and compassion towards her struggles, and contributing to her overall well being and health.
“I just wanted to move on. It was a crappy year. But you can’t dwell on it.” she claimed. Though it’s a new year, and in a way it is finally back to what Mrs. George knows as normal. “Now it’s just back to normal life, but a new normal…because you really can’t take it for granted, We thought everything was fine, and in an instant it was not fine. So we’re just enjoying it, having fun, taking trips and, all the other stuff can wait because there’s no guarantees.I appreciate the kids more, I appreciate my husband more, like everything.” she said with a sense of gratitude and happiness.
Mrs. George has battled things that many of us will never understand, nor appreciate. But her story has a message that all of us can learn from- by cherishing life, appreciating others, and spreading kindness. Mrs. George asked to make sure the school knew how much she appreciated them- so to all of you reading this story- thank you for your patience, support, and kindness. And for Mrs. George from the student body- thank you for being a warrior, thank you for being an inspiration, and thank you for being an amazing part of this school, someone we can all admire and cherish our time with.
Picture Credit: Pete’s Basement