TIMPSON, TX (KTRE) – A Timpson Elementary math teacher has survived cancer three times in just five years. Now, she's on a mission to help cancer patients in Shelby County win the battle. She says she's used to facing down long odds.
Gladys Simon has a reason to celebrate. "I'm a survivor!!" she yelled.
In the last five years, cancer has haunted this Timpson Elementary School teacher three times. Each time Simon overcomes it, but it's never easy.
"It's hard to hear that diagnosis that you have cancer, it's hard to hear that, but then to know that your family and friends around you help you get through things because this is a small community, but it's just amazing how people come together," said Simon.
Inside the Timpson Elementary School building, Simon said she found tremendous support, from some she wouldn't quite expect.
"It made me really sad seeing her like that," said Hayden Ramsey, a former student of Simon's.
Sixth grader Hayden Ramsey is that unexpected support. He was in Simon's math class when she was first diagnosed with colon cancer. He was only in second grade.
"She wasn't there for like a long time and I went and saw her in the hospital and gave her gifts and stuff," he said.
Now, you'll find Hayden at just about every cancer fundraiser. "Cancer is just a horrible thing and I want to help cure it," said Hayden.
This time, he's on stage, singing for Simon.
"It makes me think she's a fighter and she's really strong," he said.
"It's just amazing how the community rallies around someone when they're sick and supports the efforts that we're doing for cancer research," said Simon.
Just imagine what kind of inspiration Simon will be able to provide years from now.
The next fundraiser starts at 9 a.m. this Friday at Timpson High School. All proceeds will go toward the April 30th Relay For Life race.