​Teacher Battling Cancer Runs Out Of Sick Days, School Employees Give Him Theirs

When cancer patient Robert Goodman ran out of sick days at work while undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, his fellow teachers at school rallied together and showered them with his.

CNN reports that the Florida public school teacher realised he'd need at least another 20 additional sick days to accommodate his treatment for stage 3 colon cancer, but had already burned through his.

That's when Robert decided to take to Facebook with an emotional plea for 'urgent help', posting a selfie as he sat in a room at Tomsich Health and Medical Center of Palm Beach County.

Explaining that he was looking into a 'catastrophic leave of absence', Robert said he was short of 20 sick days.

"Already used 38 days this year already which is all I had left as I was sick a couple years ago and used about two weeks," he wrote.

"If I can get 20 more sick days from any teacher or district employee volunteers that would allow me to take more time to recover in battle through chemo for 12 weeks which should be enough time for me to complete at least the treatment so if any of my teacher friends are out there spread the word for me I would appreciate it thank you so much.

He added: "If not I'll be reporting back to work on August 6 and I will never have another opportunity to apply for the leave of absence. Thank you all either way for your support during this time in my life.

The 56-year-old then found that within four days, he had enough sick days to cover a whole semester - as teachers and other staff members transferred 75 sick days his way.

"I couldn't believe it happened so fast," Robert told CNN.

"Educators all over the country were reaching out to me to donate their sick days, even professors over at Florida Atlantic University.

"I felt guilty because I knew there were people who had it much worse than me."

Robert, who has taught history at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School for 23 years, said that support from students has also helped keep him motivated.

"Students sharing stories of how I've positively influenced them was a good reminder of why I chose to teach and why I can't wait to get back," he said.

He added: "Anybody can get cancer, but not everyone is willing to help. We all have it in us, but it's good to get back in touch with our compassion."

Featured Image Credit: Robert Goodman/Facebook

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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