CENTRAL, TX (KTRE) - The halls of Central Elementary have emptied out for thesummer but the love of students has filled the home of one 4th grademath teacher.
"She believes in touching the heart of the childrenbefore she ever starts to teach that child, all the students love her,"said Anita Byrd, Math Instruction Coach, Central Elementary.
For 15 years Candi Procell has taught children at Centralbut just a month ago Procell was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
"Just unbelievable Ithink I was in shock for a long time," said Procell.
In order to help Procell and her family with medicalexpenses, parents and students from the past and present are hosting a softballtournament in her honor.
"One person found out and they told someone and I havepeople praying for me all over," said Procell.
Anita Byrd has worked with Procell for about seven years andsays Procell has impacted so many lives now those students are just returningthe favor.
"Watching Candi gothrough this experience has been very touching because our community has pulledtogether," said Byrd.
Procell says since her diagnosis the outpouring of love andgiving hasn't stopped and says she's thankful to be a part of the Central family.
"They've just takenme in and treated me like one of their own and its unbelievable," said Procell.
Procell will start radiation treatment on Monday and Byrd saysthe entire community is behind her.
"You can't explain itbut that's how God's love is, that's what she's being shown right now throughpeople in our community," said Byrd.
Procell hopes to use her diagnosis as encouragement toanyone in a similar situation.
"Don't give up, just rememberthat he's right there with you and people when they say they want to help Ibelieve they really do," said Procell.
The tournament will start Saturday at9 a.m. at the Central Youth Athletic Complex, the last game is set to start at4:30 p.m.
There will also be a silent auctionand a dunk booth.