Brevard County teacher with cancer reaching out to other teachers for help

A teacher fighting cancer is asking his colleagues for help during his treatment.

Brian Meisenburg hasn’t been able to teach music at Gemini Elementary because he is battling Stage IV colon cancer. He said it spread to his liver and lung.

"I feel weak. Some days are better than others. I’ve been going to chemotherapy." 

Brian’s short-term medical leave from the Brevard County School district is almost up. As he struggles to live, he’s asking other teachers for help.

"We put out a call to donate days because teachers can donate other sick days to teachers. That allows me to get paid full salary with benefits," he said.

Otherwise, Brian says he would go on short-term disability, which is 60% of his pay. With a wife, two young children, and increasing medical expenses he’s concerned and says, "It's very important." 

But as he feels weak, there’s a stream of strength coming from former and current students.

"My wife arranged a drive-by, like a little parade on Saturday, and it was nice to see all the kids coming through and waving and cheering me on. I’ve gotten a lot of emails or phone calls saying, 'You were my favorite teacher. I loved being in your class.' And so, it’s been very uplifting to have all those people kind of reach out."

He’s been teaching for 16 years and loves it.

"Just the look on their faces when they’re singing songs or playing instruments and they get it. It’s just, it's an awesome feeling knowing you’re shaping children's lives."

But this time, his students are the ones helping to shape a smile on his face.  And as they do that, this long-time teacher has some advice for them.

"Don’t give up. Every day is a blessing. Take joy in the small things."

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