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Teacher works from hospital while receiving chemo in Minnesota

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 12:24 PM AKST
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(KARE) - A Minnesota woman undergoing chemotherapy treatments is continuing to do her job from the hospital.

Kelly Klein is a 32-year-old kindergarten teacher at Falcon Heights Elementary School, a role she says fuels her to keep going.

She’s receiving treatment for ovarian cancer at Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota.

Klein first battled the cancer five years ago. She found out it returned on the fifth anniversary of her last chemo treatment.

“I just had a really bad feeling that something might be up,” she said. “Now that it’s returned, it’s not curable. It’s terminal.”

The chemo won’t cure Klein. The aim is to slow her cancer down.

“She is my inspiration every day,” Beth Behnke, Falcon Heights’ principal, said.

Behnke knows most in Klein’s shoes would take a leave, but “Kelly came to me and said, ‘Please don’t make me.’ I said, ‘Absolutely not, let’s figure it out together.’”

Her kindergarten class accompanied their teacher to chemotherapy.

Parents were notified their children would see nurses coming and going.

“The last time around, I had a posse of friends who went with me to chemo every week,” she said. “And with COVID, I can’t have that. So what better way to spend four to five hours than with 5-year-olds?”

Klein’s hair and eyebrows are starting to thin, which she will soon be addressing with her class.

“I want them to see that cancer isn’t a death sentence,” Klein said. “You can still be happy and playful and silly and funny and energized.”

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