Today, I received the saddest news in my email inbox, along with a powerful call to action. Jessica Gerber, a friend from almost 20 years ago, in the time we've been out of touch has had kids and lost her young son, Teddy, to cancer in 2010. It is, even as I type about it, breaking my heart to know.
But along with the news was a powerful, and simple call to action - she is asking people to vote for Teddy's 3rd grade teacher, Kristin Golia, for "Live with Kelly"'s "Top Teacher Search" award. In the midst of a devastating diagnosis and intensive treatments, Kristin tutored Teddy at home, visited him in the hospital, kept him in touch with the class via email and videos, and allowed him to be a 3rd grader. An excerpt from Jessica's letter about Kristin:
Later that summer, when Teddy was able to come home for a few days, Kristin visited him twice. The second time she brought along a baby anaconda – I don’t know how she managed to convince the pet store owner to loan it out for a little while, but she did. Teddy was holding it, when all of a sudden it decided to relieve itself on his hands. Now at this point, Teddy was feeling awful – he hadn’t eaten sold food in months, was in constant pain, and was so sad to not be able to do anything but sit on the sofa all day. But when that snake peed on him, Teddy laughed…hard, and I think there really was a small period of time where he forgot about everything but that silly moment. The next day, Teddy got a fever and had to go back to Yale, where he died the following weekend.
If you read that and feel an irrepressible urge to do something, here's what you can do:
Click on the link and vote for Kristin Golia (once a day between now and Monday, April 30 at 3pm EST):
http://dadt.com/live/contest/topteachersearch/12/vote/ In an email, Jessica wrote to me: "Throughout the course of Teddy's illness, and since his death, I have always been so appreciative of the many ways that people in our lives, past and present, have helped us through their support and good wishes. Honoring Kristin is another way of finding the good in the middle of sadness and loss."
This is the good part of the internet collapsing time and space. We can all click and vote for the good.