Grand Blanc teacher returns after fighting cancer twice

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 11, 2015 at 3:51 p.m.


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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (AP) — An educator who fought two bouts of cancer is teaching once again in the Grand Blanc School District after being away from the classroom for three years.

Lisa Gumbleton returned this fall as the art teacher for McGrath and Anderson elementary schools. Classes began Tuesday, less than two weeks after she was declared to be in remission.

Gumbleton was diagnosed with cancer in October 2012, was told she had a few months to live and eventually was given the all clear, The Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/1UGLPyB ) reported. She recently beat the disease again after being diagnosed with leukemia for a second time in May and receiving 12 treatments of radiation.

Although she has begun teaching again, Gumbleton will have to continue regaining her strength and dealing with graft-versus-host disease, in which the donated bone marrow she received sees her body as foreign and fights against it.

But to her, the pain and discomfort is only temporary, and she plans to continue focusing on the positive aspects in her life. Gumbleton said she's happy to continue teaching because children are her passion, she said.

"I just get energy as soon as I get in the school," Gumbleton said. "I'm trying to build up my stamina and momentum. ... My energy's going to come from them."

On Aug. 31, she spoke during the opening ceremonies for Grand Blanc schools and thanked everyone in the district for all of the positivity they provided her when she was sick.

"I would not be on this stage if it wasn't for all your prayers, your positive support and all of thoughts. It's what got me through every day and kept me kicking what I needed to do, pulling my bootstraps up when I needed to," Gumbleton said to all of the Grand Blanc schools employees.

After five years have passed, she'll be able to say she's officially cured of cancer.

"Nothing's stopping me. (Returning this fall) was my goal and I made it," Gumbleton said.

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Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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