Florida teachers step up when fellow educator fighting cancer asks for donated sick days

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Teachers donate sick days to help cancer patient
In a matter of four days, Robert Goodman received the sick days he needed and then some.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- A Florida teacher fighting cancer is able to spend time off taking care of himself thanks to the generosity of other teachers and school employees.

Robert Goodman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in April. As he went through his treatment, he realized he would need more sick days than he had available to him.

"Doing chemo and wearing my pump on me several times a day during that treatment -- I thought, how am I going to do this?" he recalled to WPTV.

Desperate, he took to social media to see if any of his teacher friends had sick days to spare.

Within four days, Goodman had the donated days he needed. In fact, he told CNN, he had been given enough days for an entire semester.

"I will forever hold this experience in my heart with gratitude and love and will start each day with the mindfulness that we all really do love each other and want to help each other," he wrote on Facebook after reaching his goal.

Dozens of teachers and school employees have stepped up, including Dawn McKeich, who had never met Goodman. She told WPTV that part of the reason she helped is because she knows how it feels to be sick on the job after she suffered kidney failure three years ago.

"There is good in the world, and I've also learned that life is short," she said. "You never know what's going to happen. And I've learned to live life to its fullest."

Classes started back at Goodman's school earlier this week. Goodman, who has been teaching high school for 23 years, told CNN he's not going back yet but he can't wait for the day he does.

In the meantime, he said he won't soon forget the generosity of others.

"When you help someone, and you give something to someone and it's just that one-on-one, that's always very special," he told WPTV. "But when there's a deluge of help in four days, it changes you."