Love surrounds local teacher fighting cancer

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 6, 2013

WARREN — Caring for children inside the Flintstones Room in the Warren Woods Public Schools childcare center is Mary Webb’s calling.

She has been there to guide 3- and 4-year-olds in learning, art projects, play time and more.

Webb had to leave the children and the job she loves so much to battle cancer, and her colleagues have come together to help in her time of need. A pasta dinner fundraiser for the teacher will be held from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13 at Maranatha Church of God, 13700 Stephens Road.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children 10 and younger. The evening will include a bake sale and gift basket raffle. All tickets purchased before Dec. 13 will include one free raffle ticket. Organizers hope for at least 100 people in attendance.

Webb, who is married and has one daughter, has been off work for nearly four months. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer earlier this year and underwent surgery. The cancer spread, getting into her blood stream, and Webb has continued fighting the disease through chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“It’s very much on everyone’s mind,” said Katherine Rose, a lead teacher at the daycare center. “You feel helpless. You feel bad you can’t fix it. You want to do something to make it easier or better or a little less difficult.”

“A couple of us around the building were talking about taking up a collection,” said Danielle Bartholomew, a daycare center teacher assistant. “I love to cook, so throw me in a kitchen and we’ll see what we get.”

Hence, the fundraiser. The dinner will include pasta, salad, breadsticks and a dessert. Donations from the public are welcome for the bake sale and gift basket raffle.

“All the money goes right to Mary,” said Rose, who also knows Webb through the Maranatha Church of God community. “Everybody really cares about her. Everyone wants to do what they can to help her out.”

Rose said Webb wants to attend the fundraiser if she feels well enough.

Bartholomew has known Webb for a couple of years. Since the illness, Webb and Bartholomew stay in touch through text messages and brief visits.

“For all she is going through, I would have to say she’s doing well. She still keeps a smile on her face when she talks to you,” Bartholomew said. “She’s wonderful. She’s on top of being attentive to everyone else and never worried about herself.”

For instance, Webb asked Bartholomew if she should get milk for the fundraiser for the children who attend to “keep their bellies full.”

For tickets or to make a baked good or basket raffle donation for the Mary Webb fundraiser, call Katherine Rose at (248) 214-3638 or Danielle Bartholomew at (586) 365-9169.