by Mariah Acuff
It was sophomore year when one of her teachers was diagnosed with cancer.
Highline Relay-er, Paloma Pirotte hadn’t known him for long, but his impact on not only her, his students, and the school was instantly clear. As only the greatest teachers do, he bonded with his students closely becoming a part of the family and a friend, as opposed to simply a person students saw for an hour each day.
“He was like a grandpa figure to me, wise and happy,” stated Pirotte in summary of who this man was in her eyes.
His journey towards fighting cancer unfortunately caused this “grandpa figure” to take months off from teaching, which one could say was a time of great fear and sadness among students and faculty alike. Yet above all, there was hope. Thankfully today, almost two years later, this man has returned to the school where he is deeply loved and appreciated and can be seen everyday greeting his students as they enter his classroom.
When asked what her personal experience with cancer has taught her, Pirotte stated, “I have learned that cancer is real, and one second you are fine, but the next your life has completely changed along with your perspective on how you live it.”
This is why she fights.
Why do you?
The annual Highline Relay for Life will be held at the Mt. Rainier High School Track, located at 22450 19th Ave South in Des Moines, the weekend of June 11 – 12, with the main event running from 3pm Saturday until 8am Sunday,
For more information, visit their website here: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=33977 
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mariah Acuff is a Senior at Mount Rainier High School. She is also serving on the Publicity Committee for the Highline Relay for Life.Facebook Twitter Subscribe