Teachers Donate Sick Days to Help Family

Levi Greenhaw1

Levi – a high school senior and promising football player – walked the track with his proud parents for Senior Night. It was the last home football game of the season, and Levi had a bright future laid out before him.  He would attend Lawrence Tech on a football scholarship next fall to study mechanical engineering.

After the final game of the season, Levi developed a stomachache. Knowing that their son “leaves it all on the field” when he plays, his parents assumed he took a hard hit in the game. By Wednesday, they were seeking emergency services for what they thought was appendicitis, only to have an abdominal mass be discovered.

Despite multiple biopsies from hospitals indicating the mass was negative for cancer, the family’s oncologist insisted that it was cancerous – and took the necessary steps to surgically remove all of the masses, ultimately saving Levi’s life. Two days later, the prediction was confirmed: Levi had lymphoma.

“We were shaken,” said Levi’s mom Lori.  “I can’t say we were destroyed because we were not. We know God is very gracious and he provides. We were driven to our knees. God is grateful regardless of our journey. Our Church family surrounded us and helped us through it.”

As a teacher for 26 years, Lori had recently moved to another school district. When her son was diagnosed with cancer, she had no sick days left. Her husband is a retired firefighter and car hauler dealing with a long-term injury, so she was the main income for the household of four.  Thankfully, other teachers at her school donated their sick days to her so she could be there for Levi during his treatments.

“We started to put things in place financially,” Lori said. “We might have to sell a car, or make changes to get through this time. We’re not a family that has a substantial savings. We had taken out a loan on our house to buy a car before this happened.”

New Day was able to help the family with their mortgage and car payments.

“That took the stress off of us,” she said. “It made it so we didn’t have that additional concern at that point. I know the Bible says ‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you,’ but… I’m human. We were just so very grateful that New Day stepped in to fill the gap, so our focus is on Levi. He can say ‘Hey, mama, I think that I could eat this at Subway’ and I can afford to go get that versus saying I can’t. Knowing that we’re able to meet Levi’s needs is a gift.”

Levi now has an excellent prognosis and celebrated his 18th birthday in February.


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