Vernon community rallies around teacher battling cancer

Local News

VERNON (KFDX/KJTL)—A Vernon Middle School teacher is battling cancer, and those in the Vernon community are showing their support.

LeeAnn Cook is a 6th through 8th-grade teacher of dyslexic students at Vernon Middle School for the past eight years.

“She makes all of her students feel very important and special and even if they are not her students she just makes it a point to make them feel like they are somebody,” LeeAnn Cook’s niece Molli Owen said.

After experiencing headaches the week before, Cook went to the emergency room on June 1, 2019, with a bad headache where she was given the devastating news that she was diagnosed with Glioblastoma.

“You never think that you are going to hear that news, so you just kind of hit a wall,” Owen said. “It is very shocking and scary. You just never think it’s going to happen to you.”

Since the diagnosis, the community has come together to help out, and the first thing they did was on Tuesday a Paint Party fundraiser was held where a local artist taught a class to help raise money.

This Sunday, one of Cook’s friends and fellow barrel racer, Becky Oglesby, said after hearing the news she also wanted to help out.

“The morning that I heard at church what happened, the Lord gave me this idea, we need to put on a barrel race immediately,” Oglesby said. “I called a good friend of mine Nikki Morrison who is a director of MBHA Texas 14 which LeeAnn is a member of and got with her and they are going to sanction it.”

Since her diagnosis, Cook had her tumor removed and is starting her treatment in Houston next week.

“She’s doing good,” Owen said. “She sounds really good and she says she feels good. She says she’s ready to get this ball rolling. So she can come back home.”

The event starts at 9 a.m. with a church service and it goes all day with the exhibition barrel race starting at 2 p.m. at the Wilbarger County Event Center. There will be donation buckets as well as t-shirts, hats, and bracelets that you can buy to support Cook.

For a full list of events, click here.

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