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Bedford County school rallies to support teacher facing family crisis

By Tim Saunders, tsaunders@wdbj7.com
Published On: Nov 25 2013 05:29:04 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 27 2013 06:03:07 PM EST

A Bedford County school comes together to lend a helping hand to one of its teachers. It's a fundraiser to help out second grade teacher Sarah Metcalf, whose husband is recovering from a rare brain stem infection.

GOODVIEW, Va. -

When bad things happen at Goodview Elementary School, Sarah Metcalf is the first person to offer a helping hand.

"Anytime anyone is in need, Sarah goes around and asks the other teachers to help and support that person," said Caroline Williams, one of Metcalf's fellow teachers at Goodview.

When a co-worker's house burned down a few years ago, Metcalf led relief efforts.

"Sarah was the one who wanted to stay after school and collect items, take it to (the teacher), and be her shoulder to cry on," Williams said.

Recently, the tables have turned. Metcalf, a second grade teacher, has been away from her classroom for months, helping her husband Darren recover from an unusual illness.

"It was a rare infection that started to spread on his brain," Williams explained.  "It was one of only 50 cases in the United States."

Metcalf used nearly all of her family and medical leave to stay by her husband's side.

Just as his situation started improving last week, Metcalf got another round of bad news: her daughter Genevieve has cancer.

"She's amazing," Williams said of Metcalf.  "I don't know how she is staying so strong, but she is."

Williams and other teachers at Goodview want Metcalf to remain strong.

"We got together one afternoon and just started brainstorming all the ways that we could help her," said Heather Davis, an art teacher at the school.

Students, faculty, and administrators are making a school-wide plea for help.  They're asking parents and the community to help a woman who's been so generous to everyone else.

"It's going to be a long road of recovery and the medical bills, along with other bills associated with Sarah being the sole provider, are just going to grow and grow," Williams said.

"She is our family and we want to support her during this time that she is going through," Davis said.

The school is hosting a fundraiser this Wednesday called "Mittens for Metcalf."  It's at 9 a.m. in the school gymnasium.  Students and their parents are asked to wear colorful mittens, hats, and scarves to walk in Metcalf's honor.

If you'd like to donate to the cause, click on the following link: http://goodviewpta.wordpress.com/

You can also contact the school at (540) 892-5674.