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Elementary school rallies behind teacher with cancer, hosting fundraiser

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Cancer is one of life’s greatest battles and one Goshen Elementary School is experiencing it right now. Chamberlain Elementary is rallying behind one of their teachers.

Jason Potsander has taught English there for 11 years, but the last four have changed his perspective.

Cancer. The word no one wants to hear, but it’s the reality for Jason Potsander. Battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the numbers aren’t good. But he’s proven that doesn’t matter.

"My wife looks at me and says, 'the odds of having twins is about 5-8%. Jason we can do 5-8%.''

Potsander says the last few years has given him a new outlook and appreciation of life.

"It means everything to me to do as much as you can when you can," said Potsander.

It’s a sense of strength that Principal Todd Williams says is contagious.

"He is a very big role model for our school. Just to see him constantly, day in and day out want to be here, want to support the kids. Even when he’s having bad days, he doesn’t show it. So his fight-- it just makes us all better people," said Williams.

Along with signs and shirts, Chamberlain staff is partnering with the local Hacienda, where a note will automatically donate 20% of the total to Jason. Potsander says it means a lot, and further proves why he is fighting to remain in class.

"I’m going to double down on those good challenging things that give me life and those are being here for my students."

He’s teaching his kids that everyone battles hard things in life, whether chosen or not. He has them all put theirs in an envelope and rip them up.

"I say doesn’t make it go away, but I’m ripping it out because we are saying that we’re not gonna let that hard thing stop us," said Potsander.

He remains positive, but when the days get tough, he knows what to do.

“I really hope you don’t die, because you are a good teacher. Keep riding bikes, you will beat cancer," Potsander reads.

They're notes from students years ago he keeps in his pocket.

"When I reach in my pocket and I feel the notes from my students, when I come to school and I see the signs, you know, I know that I’m not alone."
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Potsander says the support is driving him to keep fighting for his family, the ones at home and the ones here.

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