Teacher with cancer gets to see her students graduate

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
teacher with cancer
Credit: WINK News

This is sure to be a special graduation for one teacher and her students.

The 28-year-old made it a point to be there even while battling stage-three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And, this is her first time seeing her students since she began chemotherapy treatments.

Annaleah Demasi is a dean at Mason Classical Academy. “Even though she’s a second-grade teacher, she’s at every 5k, she’s at all the fundfairs, she’ll be scooping ice cream, serving hot dog,” Demasi said.

No surprise to the other teachers at Mason Classical Academy that Laura Mann showed up to watch her students graduate even though she is currently battling cancer.

“About three months ago, I found this lump,” Mann said. “They found out that the mass here was lymphoma.”

But, she wasn’t going to let her diagnosis stop her from seeing her students. “It was a good day so, I wanted to show my support for them,” Mann said.

Demasi says it hasn’t been the same at school since Mrs. Mann left to start her chemo.

“She gets the students to excel because she’s so loving to them, gives them so much personalized attention and she knows how to bring the best of them,” said Demasi.

Mann says she does it because the students mean the world to her. “They mean everything, just every year to get a new group and to be able to have an impact on them,’ said Mann.

To Mrs. Mann, these students walking across the stage on Friday are not only her family, but they are the future.

“They come back fairly often. They give me notes and pictures and tell me how much they miss second grade and I kid around with them and say ‘you can always come back,'” Mann said.

Mrs. Mann’s nameplate was kept on the door and her classroom was left the way she likes it. Everyone is hopeful that the beloved teacher will soon return and be cancer-free.

“Knowing that I’m not going through this alone. Knowing that they’re right behind me helping me through it just means the world,” said Mann.

The school says that the second-grade teacher has donated to every single fundraiser it’s ever had because she wholeheartedly believes students should have the opportunity to learn.

Laura Mann says she has six weeks of chemotherapy left.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.