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Saturday April 13, 2024

Rachel Terry


“Run for Rachel Terry” -

The “Run for Rachel Terry” team was formed to honor a beloved teacher, Mrs. Rachel Terry, who went to be with the angels on August 5th, 2016.  Rachel fought cervical cancer for eighteen long months. 

Rachel was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer in March, 2014.  With her type of cancer, she was not a candidate for surgery, but started radiation and chemo treatments shortly after her diagnosis.  She completed her treatments in the summer of 2014, to be cancer free for only a few months.  Shortly after the start of school, Rachel discovered not only had the cervical cancer reappeared, but it had spread.  Just as her hair was beginning to grow back, she started treatments again.  This time, she chose not to wear a wig, but to go “all natural.”   In the spring of 2015, she was told the treatments were no longer working and began exploring other treatment options.  She was accepted into a clinical trial in Charlotte, only to have one treatment before her health took a turn for the worse.

During all these months of treatments, Rachel never complained about her disease.  She spent every moment she could with her precious family and worked as a kindergarten teacher every day she could physically get to work.  She even taught summer school just two months before she passed away.  She used her disease for teaching opportunities.  When it was time for class pictures, she surveyed her class asking if they wanted her to wear a wig or not wear a wig for the class picture.  She graphed their responses. The verdict:  they voted she wear the wig, and she did.  During kindergarten graduation, she would stick her head through the curtain and remove her hat to make the children laugh (to calm their nerves).  She never disclosed, even to her closest friends, how serious her illness was.  She lived in the moment every day.

Rachel always had a smile on her face and put others before herself.  Up until her last day, she used her illness as an opportunity to bless others and spread the joy of God’s love.  She led many people to salvation and touched the lives of hundreds of children and their families. 

Rachel often spoke of how Danville Cancer blessed her life by helping with the extra expenses of her illness. It is our hope, that her memory will be honored by our participation in this event.

“Rachel and I shared many stories and laughs about our families and school as co-workers, friends, and as parent/ teacher because I've had the pleasure of working with two of her children.  Rachel's faith and family was the source of her strength in all things.  Being with her always brought out the best in me!  She is and always will be a part of my life, and I love the thought of continuing to support her family by participating in this event in her memory.”     – Nell Buckner

“I was inspired to “Run for Rachel” because of the influence she had on my life as well as our students’ lives at Southside Elementary School.  She had a passion for teaching children as well as loving them.  Rachel taught me to smile no matter how bad I felt or how sorry I felt for myself.  During her battle with cancer, she came to school with a smile on her face.  She never complained or spoke negative about her illness.  Rachel always put others before herself.”  – Leah Reese

Rachel was a devoted wife, nurturing mother, loving daughter, and caring teacher.  For me, Rachel was a faithful friend.  Words cannot express her influence in my life.  I “Run for Rachel” because I want others to hear her story and carry on her memory.  I “Run for Rachel” to support the Danville Cancer Society.  I “Run for Rachel” because running has helped me cope with the pain of her loss. – Wendy Dunevant

People come into our lives for different reasons during different seasons. Sometimes like a passing ship in the night just passing through or they stay a spell to inspire, influence, motivate, and/or teach you. It’s not always how long they stay it’s what they leave along the way. I “Run for Rachel” as a tribute to carry her strength, kindness, inspiration, love, devotion, motivation, and friendship in hopes that it will  inspire us to love one another leaving a positive, potent, and powerful inspirational pathway along our journey of life. So Let’s “Run for Rachel” ---Regina Majied

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