Beyond The Bell: Roosevelt Middle School Librarian Battles Cancer

Friday, November 1st 2013, 10:53 pm
By: News 9

Sometimes one small act of kindness, multiplies. And Friday we were a witness to that.

Alicia Turley has a special connection with the students and teachers at Roosevelt Middle School. She's their problem solver.

"Just immediately fell madly in love with this job. I love the school. I love the students. I love these teachers. This is where I should be," said Turley.

But seemingly overnight, everything Turley enjoyed in life was put in danger.

"It just hurt and was about this big around…and it burned. And I kind of felt around and [I] felt a lump," Turley recalled.

It was breast cancer.

"They found three lumps and one lymph node. They did another scan and found another lymph node."

Turley started chemo and her hair fell out.

"It doesn't seem like a lot, but it's your hair."

The support poured in from Turley's second family; her colleagues at work. A team of teachers showed up to school, heads shaved.

"We just wanted to show support for our friend," said teacher Craig Carpenter.

"We're supposed to lead by example and just the minute things we do are seen by the kids," said teacher Matt Nagle.

Their students took notice and started coming in with shaved heads.

"That, you know, really touched me. I think it's the most important. I think it's monumental to see kids of this age to do something that's sort of beyond them," said Turley.

She's a teacher at heart, always helping the students that come into the library.

"If I had to be the one who had to give them a reason to do it, then I'm OK with that. It's great for them to be a part of a cause, because it's something that will last for their whole life," Turley said.

Turley says she will have a bi-lateral mastectomy in the spring, followed by radiation in the summer and reconstruction surgery next fall.