Crush It For Cancer

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Support > Students, staff rally for LAHS teacher

By Bernadette Lauritzen

Cancer can be a pretty hard thing to deal with, but when surrounded by your community, things become a little more bearable.


Tuesday was sweet day at Los Alamos High School, kicked off by an Orange Crush as students and staff rallied in support of LAHS math teacher Marilyn Fabry.

“Marilyn Fabry is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known,” said math teacher, Joy Handsberry. “She couldn’t be any funnier, any kinder, any stronger, or just generally any niftier. Her heart is as big as her home state of Oklahoma! We just wanted to show her how much we love her.”
Fabry, who is battling cancer, has been fighting the good fight and this week had some inspiration to continue the battle.

Head cheerleader, Joy Handsberry, with some help from Sherry Anderson and the AP psych students blossomed into the “Orange Crush It, Mrs. Fabry,” campaign. The morale booster was launched Tuesday, with some underground assistance from Stephanie Pittman, LAHS staff member and Mrs. Fabry’s daughter.

“I loved it,” Pittman said. “It was wonderful to see the entire staff and student body come together to help uplift my Mom’s spirit. It was amazing!! She was so surprised and was just overwhelmed by all the support.”

Fabry was blessed with the math gene and according to HR director, Gerry Washburn has been teaching at LAHS for nearly 18 years as a math teacher and with the district for 19 years with one year in special education.

“She taught in Oklahoma and Texas for 18 years prior to coming to Los Alamos,” said Washburn. “She graduated from Oklahoma State University which explains her attraction to the color orange.”

’Toppers of all ages donned the color orange, displayed posters and wore arm bands to show their fondness for their fellow ’Topper and boost her spirits for the summer.

According to LAHS Math teacher, Judy Nekimken, Handsberry led the charge. Handsberry ordered the T-shirts, stickers and wrist bands, while AP psych students made posters and math teachers spread the word.
It also couldn’t have been for a better recipient, according to Nekimken. “Mrs. Fabry is one of the most caring people in the world! She has a heart of gold. She would literally give you the shirt off her back.”

“I was overwhelmed by the love and joy,” said Fabry, who enjoyed the support for her cancer fight and has been known to partake of the orange beverage.

“I just want to thank the admin team, staff, and students for making my Mom feel so much love and support in her battle against cancer,” Pittman said. “It was an amazing and wonderful day! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”