Teachers change lives. Their job is not just to grade students on their academic abilities, but also to motivate students to reach new heights. Teachers have the unique opportunity not only to educate, but to connect with students and get to know them on a deeper level. One teacher who exemplified those ideals and motivated students was Fine Arts teacher, Susan Lewis; her influence has had a lasting impression on this high school community.
Last year Lewis was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In order to help her fight her battle, Woodland learned more about ovarian cancer. Even with Woodland behind her, sadly Lewis lost her fight with ovarian cancer.
As a fine arts teacher, Lewis impacted students in a positive and uplifting way. In her memory, Woodland is taking part in several fundraisers to raise money for ovarian cancer research. Leading the way in these fundraising events has been senior and member of Lewis’ advisory, Audra Blewitt.
Blewitt, who spent 20 minutes of every school day with Lewis, felt a special bond with the beloved art teacher and wanted Lewis’ spirit to carry on even after she had passed. As her senior project, Blewitt decided to fundraise to help find a cure and raise awareness for ovarian cancer.
“My main goal was to raise money in her memory,” said Blewitt.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among women, and is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers. The reason this cancer has such a high death rate is because it is hard to detect this cancer until it spreads into a more critical stage.
“1 in 72 women have a chance of being diagnosed with developing invasive ovarian cancer,” stated the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.
The number of woman diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer has been rising through the years. Along with the rises in woman being diagnosed there has been a rise in woman dying from this cancer. This cancer requires more research in order to learn more about the symptoms and how to diagnose ovarian cancer earlier. If a person does not know of someone who has or had ovarian cancer, this cancer can often go over looked.
For her fundraising event, Blewitt came up with the idea while thinking about senior project ideas during soccer practice. She settle on an idea that would not only raise money, but also champion what Lewis was passionate about–art. Blewitt hosted an art sale where students from different art classes were asked to donate an art project or two to sell at the Fine Arts Night this past December 12th. All art pieces were tagged with a teal ribbon symbolizing ovarian cancer. Blewitt sold over half the paintings at the arts show and raised $379 to donate to the ovarian cancer research group.
Blewitt was not the only one who wanted to help raise money for the cause, teachers also wanted to take part in honoring Lewis. Teachers hosted an ugly sweater day where they were asked to donate five dollars and students one dollar to wear an ugly sweater. The money raised from this event will also be donated to ovarian cancer research.
Susan Lewis had an impact in the Woodland community and the Woodland community is doing what it can to give back to Susan Lewis. In order to do this, all of the money being donated to ovarian cancer research is being donated in Susan Lewis’ name.