On Tuesday, Oct. 18, our Director of Student Services entered her office to see it covered in pink balloons, streamers and chocolates to advocate for breast cancer awareness.
Math teachers Helen Snyder, Nevine Spicer and Abeer El-Baz decorated the office in secret with help from principal Jeffrey Litz.
“I talked to Litz a few times on email just trying to find out when [Blakeley] was coming,” Snyder said. “Spicer went out and bought some chocolates, and I went out and bought the decorations during my planning period on Monday.”
Spicer and Snyder planned the decor, and all three purchased the decorations. Then El-Baz and Snyder decorated Blakeley’s room during sixth period on Monday, Oct. 17.
“I was very surprised,” Blakeley said. “This is going to be tricky…[but] I feel very cared for.”
Blakeley will be taking leave from her position for a couple months. Snyder wanted the decorations to give Blakeley some “positive energy” and strength before she departs.
“I just thought it would be fun to decorate her office and use the pink theme that’s used worldwide to just kind of make her happy,” Snyder said.
Coordinated impromptu decor, however, is not the only way staff are encouraging Blakeley. Litz also sent out an email to every faculty member encouraging them to dress in pink on Wednesday, Oct 19, and Snyder said she has future plans for assistance.
“A lot of people who go through something like this do a care page where you can put donations,” Snyder said. “I was thinking of organizing meals or something [to] bring to her.”
Blakeley’s family has also encouraged support for her, making dozens of “Team Cindy” buttons and distributing them schoolwide. There is also a donation site set up to help pay for her medical expenses.
“[Every] little bit helps,” Snyder said, “but I think if you want to make more of an impact, you would help in the ways that she’s specifically asking for.”
The fundraising website, caringbridge.com, is still accepting donations under the name of “TeamCindyBlakeley” to best support Blakeley.