GAINES (WJRT) - (06/14/17) - A long-time secretary at a Mid-Michigan school is seriously ill and students wanted to let her know how much they appreciate her.
So, dozens of them gathered secretly at the school on the last day of classes to surprise her.
Sandra Gibbons has been the secretary at Gaines Elementary in the Swartz Creek school district for 17 years. She beat cancer once and is fighting it again. Those who love her wanted to give her a word of encouragement.
Sandra wasn't expecting a warm welcome when she rolled her wheelchair into the school cafeteria. Current and former students spread the word on social media that she wanted to see them.
"I got a Facebook message with like hundreds of people and everyone said, 'Come out, we've got to see her," said Shelby Kinney, a former student.
"I just caught wind of it yesterday and I thought a few people would stop by, but obviously this is a real tribute," said Michael Gibbons, Sandra's husband.
"These are my babies and it's so great to see them," Sandra said.
Many of them brought flowers and signed a large card. Sandra is like a mother to many of the kids in the school.
"It has been amazing to see how wonderful she is with all the children here," said Katie Prieur, a Gaines Elementary teacher.
"They give me hope," Sandra said.
They gathered for a group photo. All the hugs and warm wishes inspires her to defeat cancer a second time.
"I'm going to do it again," Sandra said.