Angela Pope's co-workers at South Shades Crest in Hoover stepped up to the plate last year and donated all the sick days they could. But recent news about little Kortney Cook's health has her asking for more.
If you didn't know it, you might find it hard to believe two-year-old Kortney Cook is sick.
"She's a handful, I tell you," said Angela Pope, her great aunt. "I need to be an octopus to keep up with her.
But this strong little girl is battling pancreatic cancer. Her family first noticed a problem when she was just 13 months old. She couldn't walk or sit up without falling over.
Doctors first diagnosed it as a brain condition. But, in March, they determined it was a form of pancreatic cancer called Neuroblastoma.
"It's in the middle of her back. It's a tumor that's about the size of a small orange," Pope explains.
Kortney has been undergoing chemotherapy since being diagnosed. Her great aunt was hoping the tumor would shrink. And it did, a little. But just last week they learned the family learned Kortney has a second tumor and that will mean more chemo.
Not only is Pope Kortney's primary caregiver, she's also a custodian at South Shades Crest Elementary school in Hoover. Last year, she used all of her sick days to care for Kortney. She also used those days donated by her co workers. But now with more chemo sessions on the horizon, Pope is making a request and asking employees who work in any public school system in the state to donate a sick day to her, if they can.
"It would mean so much. I wouldn't have to worry if I can pay this bill or is my check enough. I wouldn't have to worry about any of that. It would be great," she says.
In order to donate, you must be an employee of a public school system in Alabama and a member of the sick bank in your school system.
If you'd like to donate, you can call South Shades Crest Elementary School in Hoover. That number is 205-439-3000.