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Middleton community rallies to support teacher fighting cancer

Middleton Community .jpg
Posted at 7:27 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 13:29:18-05

MIDDLETON, Idaho  — For many patients with cancer, the disease is only part of the battle and paying for treatment can be a challenge even for those with insurance.

That’s why a group of Middleton school teachers is coming together to support one of their own. Jodi Meine, a Middleton Middle School math teacher, said everything changed in May when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“That feeling of awful never goes away,” Meine said. “But coping with is being around with a lot of family, when I can go to school it makes it easier, friends and community members that they text or drop things off anonymously at the house and just surrounded by so many people that care has helped so much.”

The Middleton community has rallied around her. Kim Vandenbark, a middle school social studies teacher helped organize an auction and benefit dinner to help with expenses. Vandenbark said Jodi has been a huge support for her as a colleague and friend.

A Middleton parent said Jodi has always been there to support students.

“Ms. Meine has taught three of our kids math at Middleton Middle School. She’s a phenomenal teacher who spends so much time explaining and even now my high school kid will reach out to her if he has a question,” said Jessica Holman. “She just goes above and beyond in all aspects in the Middleton community.”

Education is Meine’s passion and she’s been able to head back to the classroom twice a week.

“There have been times I’ve been quarantined, and I can’t go at all. I tried to video them and see them. But I love going to school, for that moment I don’t feel I have cancer, I’m just Mrs. Meine, teaching math and having fun it’s a distraction from my mental health which I really need. I do miss them when I can’t go,” Meine said.

A Middleton student said Meine’s enthusiasm inspires her classroom.

“She is one of the best and nicest people that I’ve known. In the classroom always happy, she has a love for math and shares it with her students and makes math tenfold better” said Drew Holman.

Meine said during her recovery, small gestures have made all the difference.

“Just a gift of a text or phone call, just reminding you that people care about you is really, really lifts me and keeps me going every day. On those tiny little things that I know I’m not alone,” she said.

The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 6 from 4:00 pm. to 8 p.m. at the Middleton High School Commons. If interested in attending there's an RSVP link that you can up sign up through here.