Swartz Creek teachers donate sick days, raise money for co-worke - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Swartz Creek teachers donate sick days, raise money for co-worker with cancer

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(01/31/14) - A Swartz Creek teacher is in the fight of his life and he's got the will of an entire community behind him.

In almost every school room - there seems to be a class clown. In one of them, there's no question who holds the title - it's Mr. Carney, the teacher.

"He is just such the life of the party, he made the building cheerful and always doing something silly," said  Brenda Lawson, of Team Carney.

That cheerful personality has been absent from the halls of Dieck Elementary recently. Chris Carney went home sick the day before Christmas break and hasn't returned yet.

"Mr. Carney just didn't look that well. His aide suggested he go to the hospital, he was looking jaundice and we're concerned then," said Heather Holtz, a second grade teacher.

A few days later, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. His wife - also a Dieck teacher - and the community, have rallied around his family.

"We started Facebooking and saying we need to help them, what can we do and a week later we met and pulled together the idea of doing a benefit in his honor," Holtz said.

Together, they raised $25,000 - and donations are still pouring in.

That's not all - Carney and his wife can focus on his recovery now without worrying about time away from the classrooms they both love.

"In order to get him through to long term disability, we volunteered our sick days, so 61 teachers volunteered 161 days," Holtz said.

Even though he's not in the building, Carney is very much present in the classroom. ABC12 hoped to catch him on the day of this story, but chemo and radiation got the best of him.

"We've been able to Skype him as well as have phone conversations with him in our classroom, so it's been nice for the kids cause they don't really understand that age what's going on," said Alyson Morgan, of Team Carney.

If you'd like to help out, donations can be dropped off at the school, or you can call them at 810-591-5270. For more information, click HERE.

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