ROCORI Rallying Around Long-time Teacher This Christmas
COLD SPRING -- Rachel Neutzling is used to beating long odds. She's a single mother, fought lupus since the age of nine, and just six days ago, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer... and has no doubt she'll beat it.
Neutzling is a special education teacher at ROCORI middle school. Principal Mark Jensen says she's the exact person you'd imagine when you think of the word teacher.
"She is constantly about kids. I can't think of a person who is more energized or more focused on her students. It really is them first."
Jensen says she really makes sure her kids are taken care of.
"Her room is an incredibly safe place for those kids. They know if they're struggling in a different classroom and need a break, they can go to her."
Neutzling says the reaction she's received from her peers and the ROCORI community has been overwhelming. She says, no matter how big a shock the diagnoses is... she has no doubt of the outcome.
"It's a bit of a shock to hear you have pancreas and liver cancer, and more of a shock that its stage four. But right now there's no doubt in my mind that I've got this."
Neutzling says she's learned a very important lesson through her life.
"It'd be easy to give up and get down. But that's not the way I choose to live. I choose to live with a positive outlook, and even on the toughest days, there's always something to be grateful for."
Jensen says there's no doubt in the mind of the ROCORI community that if anyone can beat this, it's Neutzling. For her part, Neutzling says that the ROCORI community "isn't kidding" whenever they ask her if she needs their support.
If you'd like to support Rachel personally, make sure to wear purple, and donate to the fundraiser set up for her.