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Colleagues step up to donate sick days to teacher fighting cancer

A teacher's colleagues stepped up in just four days to donate all the sick days he needed to be approved for a catastrophic leave of absence.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (WTHR) — A Florida history teacher fighting cancer is thanking friends and strangers alike after the great show of generosity to help him fight cancer.

Robert Goodman was diagnosed with colon cancer, and has months of chemotherapy ahead of him. Unfortunately, he's used the 38 sick days he had accumulated. Because of contractual limitations, he said he was unable to enter a request for a catastrophic leave of absence.

He was scheduled to return to the classroom Aug. 6, so he went to Facebook to ask for help and give him some extra time for recovery.

His school district allows other teachers and district employees to donate sick days to others, so he asked for 20 more sick days to get through the end of his treatment.

Dozens stepped up, and he's gained enough sick days to apply for a catastrophic leave of absence. The district has already approved his request.

"I feel guilty just being here, being interviewed because I know people that have it so much worse than me," Goodman told Florida NBC affiliate WPTV. "It's really not about me at this point, it's about the caring of all these people that are trying to help me right now."

One of the colleagues who stepped up was Kindergarten teacher Dawn McKeich. She donated one of her days and shared Goodman's post.

"We're like a family...We all have to look out for each other," she said.

McKeich relates all too well to Goodman's situation. Three years ago, she missed 45 days of work due to kidney failure. Teachers stepped up and donated days to her then, too.

Goodman said in just four days after he posted asking for help, everything had gotten figured out.