On Friday, April 12th 2019, the way that Spring Williams lived her life shifted. For 15 years, she had been a middle school science teacher, married to her husband John for 13 years, and they have two boys, ages 10 and 8. When Spring was diagnosed with breast cancer in April, she decided to let the diagnosis strengthen her. Through the journey, Spring is learning that extremely difficult situations yield extreme strength. Each of her 7 rounds of chemotherapy killed cancer cells, blood cells, and hair cells, but most importantly it killed things in her life that prevented her from growing and seeing beauty found in herself and other people. The surgery and reconstruction that she endured will always symbolize how breast cancer did not take her life, it gave her life. The radiation will polish her, and give her a special glow. The hormone therapy will keep her balanced. Spring’s journey has had plenty of pain, tears, and emotional distress, but it doesn't compare to the joy that has been produced in her heart . Spring’s hope and prayer is for all people to allow trials that come in their life to bring greater character and joy.
At the close of the 18/19 school year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer on May 1, 2019, while on lunch duty as a principal at Iota Middle School in Acadia Parish in Iota, Louisiana. Having taught middle school PE, science, and English/Language Arts, I now serve as a middle school principal, and I love my profession and love going to work each and every day, despite my diagnosis and weekly chemotherapy treatments. I hold a BA in elementary education, MEd, and an Educational Specialist Degree. I am also a National Board Certified Teacher in English/Language Arts Early Adolescence with certification in 2006 & recertification in 2016. Currently, I am also a member of the Louisiana Department of Education’s Accountability Commission and have served as the Association of Professional Educators of Louisiana’s Board of Directors’ President. With 23 years of experience in education and the mother of two children, one of my most rewarding experiences is being able to be my own children’s middle school principal. I enjoy reading, running, exercising, fundraising for St. Jude Research Hospital and NOW spreading awareness about breast cancer.
I am a 30 year old Triple Positive breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in January 2018. I have been married to my high school sweet heart Matt since 2011. We have two kids, a 6-year old boy named Carson and a 4-year old girl named Harper. I am a first grade teacher in East TN.
Lucy Lublin has been an educator for the past 27 years. During that time, she has been a health
education teacher, an Assistant Principal and now a middle school Principal in Howard County,
Maryland. Born in Alexandria, Virginia and raised in Rockville, Maryland, she now resides in Mount Airy, Maryland. In April 2019, Lucy went for her annual mammogram, a routine experience that very likely saved her life. From that exam came every woman’s worst fear…a diagnosis of breast cancer. In June 2019, Lucy began 4 ½ months of chemotherapy which ended in late October 2019. In November 2019, she will undergo surgery, followed by radiation and finally endocrine therapy. Thanks to early detection, the diagnosis of breast cancer is something that she fully intends to survive and in many ways has changed her life for the better.It is through this experience that she has discovered inner strength and courage that she was
not fully aware she had until now. While she would not wish this experience on anyone else, it
has taught her many life lessons. She is most grateful to her family (especially her three sisters
who have walked this journey in lockstep with her), her friends and her school family…their
unwavering support has been her life-line through this journey. Thanks in particular to her very
good friend and colleague, Beth Lucas, for nominating her for this honor to celebrate with the
Pink Santa Hat Movement.
My name is Michelle Dougherty. I am currently the Learning Lab Coordinator (or resource teacher) at St. John Neumann Catholic School in Knoxville, TN. This is my 16th year at St. John Neumann where I’ve also served as a kindergarten teacher, first grade teacher, and reading coach. This is my 24th year teaching. I also taught second grade in south Alabama. I have been the JV and assistant varsity volleyball coach for Knoxville Catholic High School, the 2019 Division II-AA Tennessee State Runner-ups, for the past 8 years. I have also coaches for K2 Volleyball Club in Knoxville, TN for the past 11 years. I’ve coached junior high volleyball and high school volleyball in Tennessee and Alabama.
A breast cancer prevention campaign on Facebook probably saved my life. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on Oct. 5, 2018. I started my first of 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 14 rounds of targeted therapy on Nov. 10, 2018. In January I found out that my cancer was probably due to a genetic mutation. Two of my three sisters found out they too have the mutation (including my sister Karen who nominated me). I underwent a bilateral mastectomy in April and exchange surgery in July. I will have one more surgery tomorrow (Nov. 7) and my last targeted therapy on Friday (Nov. 8).
I have worked as a teacher at Eastside Elementary School for 22 years. I decided to take the steps to become an educator after substitute teaching for a short time. During the spring of my 4th year as a 1st grade teacher I was diagnosed with breast cancer. During that time I was challenged by looping to second grade with my kiddos. What a great support system I had, from the school staff, parents and students as well as my family and friends. Unbeknownst to me that would not be my last journey with breast cancer. In December of my 21st year I once again was diagnosed with breast cancer. This time the professionals insisted on genetic testing to determine if more preventative treatment was necessary. The results were positive for BRCA 1 gene. After 2 major surgeries within the same year, I am thankful for the faith that my Lord would see me through, for my family, friends, co-workers, and students as they walked with me through this journey a second time.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Our 2018 Honorees of the Pink Santa Hat Movement weekend are Denise Higgins, Patricia Knowles, Martha Cummings, Beth Lambe, MaryAnn Novak, Susannah Graham, Candace Ingram, and Linda Collins.
Our eight extraordinary educators were flown to Atlanta, Georgia on November 30th for a weekend stay at the Intercontinental Hotel where they were showered with gifts, spa treatments, a shopping spree, a photoshoot, and more!