When Mandy Hansen and Shiloh Seymour walked down the street of Spokane, Wash., this weekend, they got some funny looks.
Their hair had been shaved off at an assembly at Harlem Elementary School Thursday in an effort to raise funds for 5-year-old Seth Ironchild, a Harlem kindergartner, who is undergoing treatment for a cancerous brain tumor.
Hansen, Seth’s teacher, and Seymour, his principal, traveled to Spokane to visit him in his hospital room and give him the more than $8,000 the students had collected.
“We got looked at pretty funny,” Seymour said. “People wanted to know our story.”
They were delighted to tell the story.
“We’re sort of like a billboard for the fight against cancer,” Hansen said.
Interviewed this morning, they kept talking about what the experience would mean to Seth and to his classmates who have learned about helping others.
The highlight of the trip was the visit to Seth’s room, where they gave him the check and the money raised by students at Big Sandy Elementary School who had heard Seth’s story.
“He’s a tough kid,” said Hansen.
“His name describes him” said Seymour. “He’s an iron child.”
He was shocked to see Seymour and Hansen and more shocked to see their bare heads.
They presented him with video discs that were taken at the assembly by a Great Falls television station.
He was impressed with the support he got from fellow students and the Harlem and Fort Belknap students.
Seth is busy at the hospital. He has more than four hours of therapy each day.
“He basically has to learn to walk again,” Seymour said. “His left arm is fine, but he has to work on his right arm.”
The two educators had a good time and were inspired by Seth.
Then on the way back to Havre, they got an emotional text message from Marcel Ironchild, Seth’s father, who has been at his son’s side at the hospital since he was diagnosed.
He referred to them as “two lovely ladies,” and thanked them profusely for what they had done.
“We both just cried,” Seymour said.