Haslett community ralies to support Pringle
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The warm feelings started back in July when middle school science teacher Colleen Pringle underwent her first surgery for breast cancer. When she got out of surgery, Pringle had 18 people waiting for her in the waiting room.
“It’s devastating to have this, but the support has been tremendous,” Pringle said.
Much of the support started when her niece Courtnee Panduren made ribbons that said #TeamPringle and gave them to the supporters in the waiting room. “Even my doctor says I guess I’m on team Pringle,” Pringle said.
Pringle had her second surgery in August and her first treatment Sept. 29. “Prayers make a huge difference,” she said.
Shortly after the community heard the news about Pringle’s cancer battle, residents rallied around to offer help. There was a fundraiser held in honor of Pringle and other patients battling cancer. Pink t-shirts were sold that featured a ribbon with the words #TeamPringle and a graphic that was half of a volleyball and half football. A Pink Out was held Oct. 12 for the volleyball match and Oct. 14 for the football game.
According to special ed teacher Diane Littleton who led the t-shirt fundraiser at the high school, 400 shirts were sold within a week at the high school and many more at the middle school. “She was my colleague when I worked with her at the middle school,” Littleton said. “I do consider her a friend. I want to help her in any way we can.”
Middle school teacher Jennifer Brooks set up an online meal train to relieve some stressful tasks for Pringle. Along with signing up to bring her dinner, the community has been donating money to help pay for Pringle’s expensive medications and everyday living expenses.
Many students in the high school had Pringle as their eighth grade biology teacher and knew her son Brock who graduated in 2016 and daughter Taylor who graduated in 2010. Students in the school district felt many emotions when they heard about her cancer.
“I was shocked and so sad,” senior Karlie Walraven said. “I didn’t see it coming. I had her as my eighth grade teacher and she was my favorite. She is such a good person.”
The future is unknown, but for now the community will continue to gather around Pringle and help her in any way possible. “We will continue to share and repost the online meal train,” Littleton said. “People can always sign up whenever they would like to.”