Central ISD teacher battling cancer gets ‘hats off’ from students

CENTRAL, TX (KTRE) - Friday morning hundreds of beanies, baseball and cowboy hats filled the gym at Central elementary.

More than 600 students gave a hats off in support of one of the district's teachers who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer.

"We love one another just like family you do become family here," said Anita Byrd, Assistant Principal, Central Elementary.

Denise Clifton has been an educator for 20 years and she's been teaching at Central ISD for five.

"We had just come back from Christmas break and we got the news she had been sick in the hospital and shortly after that we found out she'd been diagnosed," said Byrd.

Since then, central faculty, staff and community members have rallied together in support of Ms. Clifton.

From t-shirts, to hat and jean days and even bakes sales fundraisers for the devoted teacher have been wide spread.

"Ms. Clifton is loved by people all around, I know Hudson has been involved and so have Diboll she's just a greatly loved teacher," said Byrd.

But this isn't the first time for the bulldog community to help one of their own.

Last year 4th grade teacher Candi Procell was diagnosed with cervical cancer and she says during her chemo and radiation treatments she received dozens calls and texts with nothing but encouraging words.

"I never felt like I was alone they were always with me," said Procell.

And they hope this act of love will make Ms. Clifton feel the same way.

"It's the same thing that you would do for your own flesh and blood," said Byrd.

Byrd said so far they've raised over $2,000 to help with Clifton's medical expenses.

Clifton is being treated at Memorial Herman in Houston.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.