Pink Up: Petal teacher battles breast cancer while teaching

Petal Middle School teacher battles cancer while conquering the classroom.
Petal Middle School teacher battles cancer while conquering the classroom.(WDAM)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:42 PM CST
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - In a pandemic-ridden 2021, COVID was the least of a local science teacher’s worries.

“On July 1, I was diagnosed with advanced-stage three breast cancer,” said Shannon Rehm, a science teacher at Petal Middle School as she talked about her battle with cancer.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer, Rehm returned to the school to teach. Many days were tough for her, but her family and friends would not let Rehm back down.

“My husband at home motivates me to ‘Get up, put your makeup on and get dressed and go to work,’ and the school district has been phenomenal,” said Rehm. “They’ve hired subs in my room with me every day, and the days that I can’t come, the sub is in there taking care of my students as well.”

Rehm has been going through chemotherapy for several months, causing her to lose her hair. She says the hair loss has caused many people to give her looks of shock.

Many people have wondered how Rehm stays so active.

“Just because you have cancer, it doesn’t mean you have to stay home and do nothing,” said Rehm. “My husband has told me I think you’re more lively and more active now than you’ve ever been. I have a purpose now. I want to live every day to my absolute fullest.”

As her treatments become less and less and she continues to fight her battle, Rehm knows she has everything in her to beat cancer and ring the bell.

“I’m not going to say I’m fortunate to get cancer, but I have cancer and it’s okay. I mean, 2021, cancer was not the worst,” said Rehm. “Now, I have a new outlook on life, and moving forward, I’ll never look back. I’ll just keep pushing forward.”

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