A group of police officers are recognizing a teacher who tutored a student battling cancer as she fought the disease as well.
Sharon Gallo-Dunn of Chelemsford, Mass., was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago. The second-grade teacher told ABC News that she had to miss school for her treatments, but she would return every few weeks to check in on her students.
On one of her visits, she realized one of her students was absent.
“I asked the substitute teacher, ‘Where’s Brodie?,’ and she told me he was diagnosed with cancer,” Gallo-Dunn told ABC News. “I said, ‘What?’ It was shocking.”
Brodie Rawson was diagnosed with stage 3 Burkitt lymphoma.
“I called [Brodie’s] mom to ask if I could visit and I went in the next day and visited him at Tufts Floating Hospital,” Gallo-Dunn told the Lowell Sun.
She was determined to make sure Brodie did not fall behind in his school work, so he could rejoin his class when he was cured of the disease.
His family was grateful to Gallo-Dunn for keeping him going.
“I don’t even have words for it,” said Brodie’s mom. “Certain people find their calling in life, and she certainly found hers in being a teacher.”
The charity Cops for Kids with Cancer honored Brodie and his family by giving them a $5,000 grant. When the police department heard his story, they knew they had to recognize Gallo-Dunn as well.
Fifty police officers came to Shawsheen Elementary School to present Brodie’s family with the check and to thank Gallo-Dunn.
Both teacher and student are now cancer-free and are forever bonded by their shared experience.