Middle school teacher facing cancer receives NC School Hero nomination

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Math Teacher Jeff Sasser receives his third set of treatment.

2020 has been a swirling storm of worry. With the Coronovirus pandemic, everyone feel nervous about the uncertain future.

But for Northwest Middle School teacher Jeff Sasser, a virus seems minor compared to what’s keeping him up at night.

Cancer.

Jan. 19, Sasser went to the emergency room because the pain in his arms and legs was too much. This pain had been going on for over a month, and doctors were scratching their heads at what might be the cause. After going through several tests, a nurse came in and apprised the family of news that no one wants to hear.

He has Stage 4 Lymphoma.

“I’m on leave right now for my cancer treatment, so I spend a lot of time at home, just passing time,” Sasser said..

Fast forward to late February when a Northwest Middle parent Kris Saums decided to nominate Sasser for the NC School Heros, a voting contest in which the top 200 nominees have a chance of winning $10,000 for both themselves and their schools. 

“Two of my three children have had Mr. Sasser for Math 2 in seventh grade,” Saums wrote in the nomination. “Besides being a really strong math teacher, Mr. Sasser is supportive of his students. They love it when he attends their sporting events.”

Sasser wasn’t made aware of his nomination until a few days after the nomination was made.

“I had never heard of the program before,” Sasser said. “I first saw it on Facebook for the first time, and Ii thought it was really nice of her to do that.”

When Sasser first saw the nomination it only had 17 votes; now, it has more than 11,000 votes putting him in the top 50.

The voting will end March 15, and the 10 winners won’t be announced until late May. Until then Sasser will still be going through treatments and numerous tests till he’s able to return to working at the middle school where he’s greatly missed. 

To vote for Jeff Sasser, click here: https://www.ncschoolheroes.com/?eid=2029245.