A Florida public school teacher battling colon cancer for over a year, ran out of his paid sick days while undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. Fortunately, teachers from all around the country gave him a surprise of his life.
Robert Goodman, who has taught history at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School for 23 years, figured out he needed at least 20 additional sick days to deal with more treatment, days he just didn't have.
On July 23, the educator decided to reach out for help and shared a plea on social media, asking help from his colleagues to donate their leave entitlements so that he could cover his time off for cancer treatment.
“I’m looking into catastrophic leave of absence by the school district but I’m short 20 days sick days to quality for that…” wrote Goodman. “If i can get 20 more sick days… that would allow me to take more time to recover in chemo for 12 weeks.”
“If any of my teacher friends are out there, spread the word for me, I would appreciate it thank you so much,” he added.
Within four days, after the 56-year-old posted his selfie from a room at Tomsich Health and Medical Center of Palm Beach County, Goodman had enough sick days to cover an entire semester.
"I couldn't believe it happened so fast. Educators all over the country were reaching out to me to donate their sick days, even professors over at Florida Atlantic University. I felt guilty because I knew there were people who had it much worse than me,"said Goodman.
Goodman was reportedly diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer just last April and since then he has been documenting his journey on his Facebook account.
"It was the easiest way to let people know how I was feeling and at the same time inspire people who were going through something similar," Goodman said.
Naturally, the teacher was touched by the overwhelming response he got from all corners of the country where colleagues sacrificed their days off just for him.
"I wasn't surprised that teachers were giving. Teachers are always giving all the time," he said. "When one of their own needs help they'll always step up.”
The 56-year-old’s inspiring and upbeat posts about life also struck a chord with many of his students who poured their support for him on social media.
"Students sharing stories of how I've positively influenced them was a good reminder of why I chose to teach and why I can't wait to get back," Goodman said.
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