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'Cheering her on': Dodge County elementary school teachers show support for 2nd grader with cancer

Teachers are hosting a stuffed animal drive to support 2nd grader Clarissa Abbott, who is battling leukemia

DODGE COUNTY, Ga. — North Dodge Elementary School counselor Scarlett Driggers knows firsthand how important it is to show support for a second grade student battling leukemia.

"With my battle with breast cancer for the last year and half, I know the school has gotten behind me and supported me and prayed for me, and that's what we want her to feel. We want her to feel the love and support of our school and our community," said Driggers.

Back in November, Clarissa Abbott's mom picked her up from school after her teacher, Kristen Jordan, said Abbott wasn't feeling well during lunch. 

A week later, Abbott was in the hospital for a bone marrow biopsy.

"It was really hard just to hear that one of my students could possibly be facing cancer. I pulled the second grade teachers out right after we got back from lunch and we stood in the halfway and prayed and cried," said Jordan.

Abbott is in the advanced gifted program. Her teachers say she's a delightful student who loves farm animals.

"When I first met her, she came in and gave me the biggest hug. The very first day of school and I knew she was a people person then," said first grade teacher, Stephanie Hawkins.

"Very smart and did whatever I asked her to do. She's very cooperative, and a sweet, sweet student. I love her," said kindergarten teacher, Lawanji Davis.

The teachers are hosting a drive for stuffed animals they will donate to Sailor Kate Ministries in Clarissa Abbott's name, as well as a drive-by parade for her birthday on March 26.

"We're going to have our signs and our bells and our pom-poms and we're going to be out back awaiting her arrival in a convertible and cheering her on," Driggers said.

Clarissa was too sick to interview with us. Her dad, Brent Abbott, emailed 13WMAZ saying how grateful they are for her teachers' support. 

He said her treatment is working and her recent biopsy showed that the cancer cells are undetectable in her bone marrow.

If you'd like to donate stuffed animals for Clarissa, you can contact Scarlett Driggers at 478-474-6690.


School of the Week: Alexander II Magnet School

School of the Week: Dodge County Middle

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