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After she was diagnosed with cancer, her classmates came to the rescue.

She expected them to make fun of her. She was wrong.

After she was diagnosed with cancer, her classmates came to the rescue.

Marlee watched as her teachers and peers stepped up to show their support for her, one by one. The look on her face says it all.

Marlee, seen here in the red dress with denim jacket, has received some major support from friends and teachers. All images by Boulder Daily Camera/YouTube.


Last year, her mom noticed a bump on Marlee's left foot. After it didn't go away (Marlee played soccer, so it made sense that it might be a sports injury), Marlee's mom took her to the doctor, where they learned the scary truth: It was cancer.

Doctors amputated Marlee's foot, after which she began chemo, causing her to lose her hair. Even after all she'd been through, Marlee worried about how her teachers and classmates would react to seeing her without hair.

She was in for a pleasant surprise.

Not only did her teachers and classmates accept her, but several of them decided to shave their own heads in the name of solidarity — and charity.

After setting up an account with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a group that helps raise money to fight childhood cancer through head-shaving events, Marlee's teachers and classmates hopped into action.

More than 80 of her classmates shaved their heads or donated hair, and in total, the school raised more than $25,000 in just two and a half weeks.


Marlee had the honor of shaving one of her teachers' heads.

"I thought people would make fun of me, but people just supported me instead," she told the Broomfield Enterprise.

The outpouring of support was unexpected, touching, and just about everything you'd hope for in humanity.

Above all else, Marlee hoped to be able to help other kids with cancer, and in that, she succeeded. Big time.

The whole school turned up in support.

When it comes to childhood cancer, there are some troubling statistics.

For example, did you know that the average age of diagnosis for childhood cancer is 6 years old? Or that about 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year? Or that the majority of childhood cancer survivors experience later effects like fertility, heart failure, and other forms of cancer? Or that just 4% of federal cancer research funds go toward studying pediatric cancer?

It's rough out there, and that's what makes the community outpouring of support for Marlee all the more heartwarming.


Marlee finished her last chemo treatment in February, but the love and support from her schoolmates will stick with her forever.

To learn more about Marlee's story, check out this article at the Broomfield Enterprise or watch the video below.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."