Teachers donate sick days to fellow educator battling cancer

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A Florida teacher battling cancer ran out of sick days, as he is undergoing chemotherapy. 

Feeling desperate, he placed a plea on Facebook, asking for help from other teachers in the state. 

Robert Goodman and Dawn McKeich just met. 

They have a lot in common — they’re both teachers, and work in Palm Beach Gardens. 

They’ve also been sick on the job. 

They’re now forever connected. 

“There’s this whole big family that we don’t even know that we have. I know for sure that we really have it,” said Robert Goodman, who is fighting colon cancer. 

The final numbers aren’t in yet, but Dawn is one of dozens of teachers and other district workers who donated their sick time to Robert. 

“I think they probably needed a new fax machine,” Robert said. 

Dawn’s donation comes full circle. 

Three years ago, a week into school, her kidneys failed and her peers stepped up with care and compassion when she was out of work. 

“There is good in the world and I’ve also learned that life is short, you never know what’s going to happen and I’ve learned to live life to the fullest,” said Dawn McKeich. 

Robert begrudgingly posted on Facebook Monday, asking for help. 

“Doing chemo and wearing my pump on me several times a day during that treatment I thought how am I going to do this?” he said. 

By Thursday, he learned there were enough sick days donated that he would have enough sick time to heal without worry.

“When you help someone, you give something to someone. And it’s that one on one and that’s always very special but when there’s a deluge of help in 4 days, it’s — it changes you,” Robert said. 

It’s Robert’s mission now to thank everyone. 

As he says, there’s a new ingredient added to the recipe of who he is. 

“I love you. Thank you.”

Robert says he’ll likely be in chemo until Halloween. 

He says any unused sick time will be given back.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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