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Community rallies around South Bay teacher who lost daughter to cancer

A South Bay teacher’s students and school have rallied around her after she lost her daughter to cancer.

Sharon Noyes, a fourth-grade teacher at James Franklin Smith Elementary School in San Jose, lost her daughter Meghan in October 2022 following a battle against leukemia.

“Trying to figure a way to channel my grief to do something positive, I decided I needed to start helping the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” Noyes said.

The students and community rallied around the Noyes family. The students made bracelets, went to the Light the Night event put on by the charity and held fundraisers – all in honor of Meghan.

On Tuesday, they learned that they had raised more than $28,000.

“I had no idea it was going to be as big as it turned out to be,” Noyes said. “It just kind of reaffirms your belief in the goodness of people with so much negativity going on in the world. It really has given me hope for the future.”

The support even surprised the local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“These kids are raising more money than some corporate executives do,” said Carina Coppedge-Pope with Silicon Valley Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “If anything, just seeing their investment in their community and their investment in making a difference at such an early age is really inspiring.”

Meghan’s former soccer club, the OV Toros in Morgan Hill, raised another $21,000.

All that money goes to research, with the goal of finding a cure for blood cancers.

For Noyes, it’s her new mission in life – to honor her daughter’s memory and live life to the fullest.

“I’m trying to live and play like Meghan,” she said. “That’s kind of our motto. Live and play like Meghan even if you’re not feeling well. She didn’t feel well a lot of the time. She still every day got up and made the most of each day. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

The school will continue to collect donations through the end of the school year.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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