By Eric Heubusch
In her battle with breast cancer, Riverview High School teacher Anne Ross has found that the classroom helps her get through the tough times she experiences during remission. After starting the 2015-2016 school year, however, Ross determined that it would be best if she didn’t continue after the Thanksgiving break. Her peers at Riverview were concerned for the English teacher and began devising ways to help.
“Mrs. Ross has taught at Riverview for 17 years,” said Andrea Hendrickson, the English department head at Riverview. “She is well loved, and we felt something should be done.”
After brainstorming, Hendrickson and a few other teachers created a GoFundMe page to support their colleague in her time of need. Hendrickson began to share it on social media and donations from friends, family, faculty and students began to come in.
“Mrs. Ross is a great person, teacher and fighter,” said former student Megan Humphries. Humphries is among one of the many students who have shared Ross’s campaign page on Facebook. The GoFundMe page earned almost $2,000 in less than a day, and has an ultimate goal of $20,000. Hendrickson explained that while Ross is appreciative of the donations, she hopes that those who donate will also share their generosity with another charity.
“She is a reserved and humble person, and all of this attention has put her out of her comfort zone,” Hendrickson said. “Anne has asked that those who donate match their donation toward another organization.”
Ross and her husband, Dave, lost their niece and nephew 16 years ago, and ever since they have donated every year to children’s charities across Tampa Bay, including A Kid’s Place, Mary Lee’s House of Tampa, and her favorite, World Vision.
The GoFundMe page is intended to ease the financial burden placed on the Ross family, as Dave was injured on the job and had to take time off as well. However, the page is also a reminder for Ross that she is not in this alone: she has generations of students, faculty members, friends and family who are more than eager to be in her corner.
If you wish to help fight cancer with Ross, visit www.gofundme.com/5ncp3ewc to donate.