1st Grade Teacher Visits Student With Cancer At His Home Every Day

May 17, 2021

A first grade teacher in Pennsylvania has gone above and beyond to keep teaching a student who is battling cancer.

teacher barb heim visits boy with cancer
Barb Heim with Harrison Conner / Credit: TODAY

Barb Heim is in her 35th year teaching first grade at Conneaut Valley Elementary School in Conneautville.

It was near the end of 2019 when Heim noticed there was something off with one of her students. Instead of being active like usual during recess, Harrison Conner would turn pale and have to sit down while the other kids were playing.

Heim and the school nurse alerted Harrison's mother before Christmas break.

During the holiday break, Harrison was rushed to a Pittsburgh hospital in a helicopter.

He was later diagnosed with leukemia.

teacher barb heim visits boy with cancer
Barb Heim / Credit: TODAY.com

As Harrison fought to make his recovery, Heim volunteered to drive out to his home after school to make sure he wouldn't fall behind.

Every day she brought lessons, snacks, and hope.

"It goes far beyond her just coming here for school," Harrison's mother, Suzanne, told TODAY. "Ever since the minute he was diagnosed ... she has been absolutely amazing. She has kept Harrison such a part of the kids' lives in school and making sure that he feels remembered.

"It's not like a teacher is coming from school to teach, she's like an aunt who is coming over to hang out, and she brings goodies, and she is always bringing a smile. My kids will meet her at the front door with all the latest news and it's incredibly, incredibly, special."

teacher barb heim visits boy with cancer
Credit: TODAY.com

Harrison is currently in remission, but he has another year of treatment. Thanks to Mrs. Heim, he's now excelling in second grade.

"It was a joy, because I knew he wanted to learn," Heim said. "He couldn't wait. He was so excited. And he'd have his off days if medicine was causing him to not feel up to it. It wasn't the best day for him, but we made it through. And he always did his best."

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