On Sunday (May 31), Highline High Teacher Jasmine Kettler followed through with her promise to have her hair cut off – and shaved – in honor of her student Faith Jackson, who is battling cancer (read our previous coverage here): faith and staff faith amanda 4389826_1433175754.2012_funddescription students watching faith selfie Faith – wearing a green t-shirt in photos above – helped kick off the hair shearing experience herself by cutting Jasmine’s hair. “Faith absolutely loved being outside in the sunshine and was cracking jokes the whole time,” Jamine said. “I had around 30 staff and students at a house on Lake Burien with BBQ and yard games. After a while everyone took turns cutting off a piece of my hair and one of my 10th grade students ended up shaving it all off.” Jasmine and friends are still trying to raise $5,000 to help defer Faith’s medical and life expenses, and you can donate to the cause here:

http://www.gofundme.com/nohairdontcare

Here’s more info from Faith’s Gofundme page:
Seeing Faith sitting in the office this week, after not seeing her at school since before the diagnosis, was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. She was wearing a green beanie, and the glasses she had always worn before, but something in her eyes lit up the room. She had lost some weight, and all of her hair, but she was radiant. Before she could stand up to give me a hug, I had already jumped in the seat next to her and wrapped my arms around her. I nearly cried right then. I honestly can’t remember a time that I felt happier than when she told me that day, “Guess what Ms. Kettler!? I’m cancer-free!” You could see the life in her face and smile when she said it. She was proud and happy and appreciative all in one expression. I don’t think she realized how much that smile changed me. It was one of those larger-than-life moments that puts you in your place. It reminded me why I chose my profession, how precious life is, and how much I have to be thankful for. I was smiling and crying with her for a few minutes as we caught up on things at school and how challenging the last few months had been for her. She’s the kind of person that influences the people around her without trying. She is kind-hearted, determined, beautiful, and strong. In my Yoga class she was always quiet, but exceeded in every way possible. I told her how my Yoga classes had painted the gym walls, rolled up the old wrestling mats, and ordered a class set of brand new Yoga mats. I told her how the community had helped with everything and again, the look on her face when she saw the room, changed me. If ever I questioned the amount of personal time I spent working to improve my classroom or if I ever resented how much work is required in order to have a semi-presentable class, I felt silly for doing so. Being around someone who appreciates life, and all of the little things it offers, makes you feel the same in return. She has the power to make a change and I want to help her do that. I think you want to help her do that. Along with the physical agony and emotional trauma of facing death at such a young age, cancer takes an unimaginable financial burden. Faith lives with her twin sister, Fortune, and her mother, who have both taken on the emotional task of caring for a sick loved one. In an already challenging situation, medical bills make it nearly impossible to enjoy the little things in life with spontaneity. Everyone has something they’re struggling with, and that’s a reality that we all live with. Whether your problems are big or small; life-changing or not, we all face challenges. I think we also owe it to ourselves to be a part of something bigger than our problems. Please consider donating to this fund and helping Faith and her family get back on track. We will celebrate life and love and the strength that resides in each of us. Am I scared? Absolutely. But it’s just hair. We were all born bald. The fear of being bald doesn’t compete with the fear of losing out on the life you dream of having. Donate to Faith’s Fund and hashtag, #nohairdontcare to encourage and inspire all those individuals going through the same thing.
Faith’s Story (Written by her mother):
Faith was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma on December 9th, 2014 in the emergency room at Highline Hospital. Before then, Faith was having all the symptoms but we didn’t know until after she was diagnosed. She had aches and pains, and swollen lymph nodes in her neck. She even went to the doctor, in Bremerton, but they chalked it up to her having food poisoning at a arena that she went to and she had a burger. Faith and her twin sister registered for school and enjoyed the rest of the summer they had left. One day Faith came to me and said, “mom I have a big lump on the bottom part of my neck.” We decided that it was best we make an appointment to see the doctor very soon. So the day came, in that short while, and the very next day she started having pain in her stomach. We saw my doctor’s partner because she was on vacation. Dr. Cherry. He examined Faith and asked her a lot of questions about how long this has been going on, what other symptoms was she was experiencing, etc. Then he proceeded to tell us that he was going to run some tests to see better what’s going on. When he told us that it could be lymphoma (cancer), Faith broke down and cried right in the hospital, in total fear. So we left and went home. We were waiting for the test results, meanwhile Faith is in excruciating pain, and I’m giving her pain medication to help ease the pain and it’s not working. By now Faith is throwing up every day; sometimes two or three times a day. She is getting weak and can no longer attend school. We kept on going to the doctor. All the tests came back negative. So my doctor decided that it was time to send Faith time a gastroenterologist. We went and she told us that she would like to take a scope and go into Faith’s stomach and see what’s going on. We were pleased because someone was doing something that we felt was in Faith’s best interest pertaining to her health. We left and went home. That following evening Faith was throwing up, couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. She said, “mom it hurts so bad, I just can’t take it” so I asked her if she wanted to go to the emergency room, she said yes. I knew then and there that she was hurting and getting worse as the days go on. So we went to Highline Hospital. I told the doctor about her symptoms and what we go through everything day and that I was not taking her home in this condition, something needed to be done. The doctor decided to give Faith a PET scan. And a great choice because then she could see what was going on thoroughly. The doctor came in and I could tell by her look that it was not good. She explained to us as gently as she could that Faith had cancer. Again Faith broke down in tears, I know she for that moment felt like this was a death sentence. But not me; I told her God already told me that we would be going through something and even though this is my precious daughter, not to cry, because she is going to live and get through this. And I also knew that I had to stay strong for Faith and fill her with love and Faith and desire. So that is what I did. Faith was immediately transferred to the best place; Children’s Hospital. From there she started Chemotherapy. We had no idea what we were in for; we practically lived at Children’s while she was going through treatment. I knew then that Children’s is really serious about their patients and wants the best possible outcome for Faith. Some days were harder than other but bound together and got through it a little at a time. It was so hard to see my daughter in pain or sick to her stomach. The doctors had a meeting with the family to explain what would be going on for the next six months. I was able to ask my questions so I felt more knowledgeable. Children’s was so sweet to us and made everyone feel as comfortable as they could in a situation like this. Eventually Faith started to feel a little better, then she was eating well. I was and am so proud of my daughter for being so strong and keeping a made up mind that she would get better. So Faith had to go in and out the hospital for weekly stays to get her chemo. Then going to umpteen appointments I would say three to four in one week when she was out. God knows we had our up and downs but we made it and now Faith and I have been told that she is cancer free!!!!!!!! We are so happy and pleased with Children’s for all of the teamwork they did just to see Faith well again. They don’t see and lymphoma anymore!!!! Although Faith had to lose her hair she said, “to me that’s a small price to save my life.” I agreed.
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