California Educator

October 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 59

Life is a gift, says KRISTI YEE, and each day is precious. Even the bad moments are important, she tells students, because they help you appreciate the good ones. As a breast cancer survivor, Yee is proof bad things happen to good people, and even so, they can survive. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Yee and other CTA members who have survived cancer share their stories, in hopes of inspiring others waging the battle of their lives. "You've got cancer" may be the scariest three words anyone can hear. "I felt afraid and overwhelmed," recalls Yee, whose doctor called with the news on Christmas Eve, 2006. The 30-year kindergarten teacher suspected some- thing was wrong when she felt a lump under her armpit. A biopsy confirmed Stage III triple negative in- vasive breast cancer. It was winter break, and she and her husband took their two daughters to Disneyland. "I just wanted to keep on living," says Yee, a teacher at Skyline Elementary School, South San Francisco. When she returned, she told students she was sick and would be away the rest of the year, and they would have a wonderful substitute teacher. She underwent months of chemotherapy, radiation and a double mas- tectomy, followed by reconstructive surgery. In 1995, Yee became a participant in the California Teachers Study, which has tracked cancer and the health of 133,000 female teachers since that time. She had reg- ular mammograms, never expecting she would go from a participant in the study to a cancer statistic. Yee and other cancer survivors say their school dis- tricts offered excellent health care coverage when they needed it, which is why local associations must fight to preserve quality health care for members. Yee's commu- nity of school staff and parents also offered "an ocean of love and support," bringing meals and groceries to P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y S C O T T B U S C H M A N Teachers experience higher rates of cancers, says California Teachers Study Kristi Yee's community of school staff and parents offered "an ocean of love and support" during her cancer battle. Surviving Cancer By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Feature I no longer sweat the small stuff. Kristi Yee 9 V O L U M E 1 9 I S S U E 3

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - October 2014