Libertyville staff, students raise more than $17,000 to support teacher with cancer
"I am the teacher with cancer" is how French teacher Kerstin Cholewin describes herself to people around Highland Middle School in Libertyville, but to her students she is simply Madame Cholewin.
Cholewin has had plenty of support from her school community since being diagnosed with ovarian cancer over the summer.
At a recent fundraiser, students from Libertyville School District 70 and Highland Middle School raised $17,800 for STAAR Ovarian Cancer Foundation through direct donations, T-shirt sales, and students who wanted to see their teachers' heads shaved.
In all, eight teachers volunteered to have their heads shaved to support Cholewin.
Cholewin, described by colleagues as bubbly, with a hardworking attitude, dons a different colored wig every Friday -- some purple, others rainbow colored -- to keep her students engaged, excited and interested about French language and culture.
Sara Raymond, Spanish and world language department coordinator at Highland, describes Cholewin "as an integral part of the Libertyville community, being a graduate of Highland Middle School (herself)."
"She played a big part in the fundraiser and other activities at the school because it's her story to tell," Raymond said.
Cholewin's response to the outpouring of love?
"I am humbled by the support that everyone has shown me this year," she said. "As one of my students said, 'No one fights alone.'"