By Sam Jack
Nelson Elementary first grade teacher Kim Hall is the beneficiary for this Saturday’s Gary Engels Memorial 5K (GEM 5K).
This is Hall’s 38th year as a teacher. It is a year for which she has been fighting hard, after a diagnosis of liver cancer and a discouraging prognosis from her doctors.
The back of this year’s GEM 5K shirt displays a quote from Hall: “Teaching is who I am.”
“It has been what I live for, at this point,” Hall said. “My kids don’t know (about the cancer), as far as I know. I don’t talk about it. They know that I’ve been losing weight like crazy; I’ve lost almost 70 pounds. But it’s not something I talk about.
“I don’t want them afraid. When the summer comes, they won’t be involved, and if I don’t make it through the summer, then they don’t have to know. I don’t ever want to do anything that would hurt them,” she said.
Right now, Hall’s first-graders are working together to write a nonfiction book about animals – an exciting project for kids who are just learning how to read and write.
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The GEM 5K will be held Saturday at Colt Stadium in Haysville. Registration opens at 8 a.m., an opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., and the race begins at 9:30 a.m.
For those who have not pre-registered, registration is $25. Shirts will be available for same-day registrants, but the size is not guaranteed.
The event is open to both runners and walkers and will not be officially timed.
Those with questions may email Brooklyn Plogger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the “Gary Engels Memorial GEM5K” Facebook page for updates.