Students Surprise Teacher Battling Cancer

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JERSEY SHORE -- A teacher battling breast cancer received an early Christmas present from her students in Lycoming County. Several students donated their hair to make wigs for cancer patients like their teacher Mrs. Vierra.

Eighth grader Amanda Fuller has been growing her hair out all year long just so she could get it cut.

"I got a little scared but then I realized there are a lot of people up there and there is a lot of people supporting me and I'm supporting people with cancer,” said Amanda Fuller.

Fuller along with 12 other students and two teachers had several inches of their locks chopped off during the annual "Time to Give" assembly at Jersey Shore Area Middle School.

"All of the hair gets made into wigs and it is actually given to cancer patients free of cost through the American Cancer Society," said Nikki Eoute.

The support had teacher Ruth Vierra in tears. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.

"I've spoken the last two years but I said my recent new cancer diagnosis had just made me speechless," said Vierra.

Vierra tried to stay out of the spotlight, but students had another plan. They surprised her with a check for over $3,000.

“All of the money that the kids brought it was actually going to her family in order to support and offset costs for her," said Eoute.

"I'm stunned still. I find it unbelievable," said Vierra.

For some of the students this wasn't just about cutting their hair to help make wigs for cancer patients. This was a chance to honor or remember someone in their family.

"We've all known someone with cancer, especially Mrs. Vierra, and well, it's just nice to be able to do something like this," said Fuller.

"I feel so much better and I’m really glad I did this," said Josaphine Murray.

"It buoys me up. It makes me want to fight harder. It makes me want to be here more," said Vierra.

Some of the students who donated their hair this year are already planning to let it grow, so they can donate again next year.