Alabama teachers donate 100 vacation days to colleague so he can care for daughter fighting cancer

Alex Lasker

When an Alabama teacher needed more time off from work to care for his sick daughter, his colleagues stepped up in a big way.

David Green, a history teacher and football coach at Mae Jemison High School in Huntsville, and his wife, Megan, received devastating news in October 2018.

The pair's now 16-month-old daughter, Kinsley, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a common form of childhood cancer that affects bone marrow cells, just before her first birthday. 

Kinsley began undergoing chemotherapy treatment last year at a hospital in Birmingham, over 100 miles away from the family's Huntsville home.

While her mother was able to take leave from work to stay with the cancer-stricken child, Green, who frequently made the nearly 2-hour drive to see Kinsley, quickly ran out of sick days to make the journey possible.

CNN reports that most teachers in the United States get just one sick day a month and no paid leave, which can have devastating consequences on educators who can't afford to take time off. 

Desperately hoping to spend more time together as a family, the Greens took to Facebook to see if other teachers in the state of Alabama would be willing to donate their sick time — and the response left them speechless. 

Through a "sick leave bank" program, which allows members to borrow days "should they be in a situation where they've used all of their available sick and personal leave time," Green received over 100 days in donated time off — he even received two days from a teacher who, herself, was just diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I could not imagine having a child and being away from the child," Wilma DeYampert, an assistant principal at Lakewood Elementary in Huntsville, told CNN. "So, I just thought it was the right thing to do. My mom always said, 'You don't have to be rich to bless someone.'"

Kinsley is set to undergo three to four more months of inpatient treatment and will then receive outpatient treatment for the next two years. While the family estimated they only needed 40 extra sick days to care for Kinsley, Green will now be able to spend even more time with his daughter. 

If you wish to help out the Green family, donate to their GoFundMe page or visit their Amazon wishlist.