SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Students at Roosevelt High School have started a fundraiser in honor of their teacher who is battling cancer for the second time.
Assistant Choir Director Randi Van Der Sloot has always had a positive influence on her students.
“I feel that she just radiates positivity into every room she enters, and if someone has a bad day she does everything she can to make them feel better,” Vice President of the RHS Cancer Club Morgan Whiting said.
Even if they’re not even hers…
“She would always come and visit before she was a teacher here at Roosevelt. She’s always just a bundle of joy and fun to be around,” President of the RHS Cancer Club Carlee Hetland said.
In the school, that positivity is rubbing off and onto the walls of their Hall of Positivity.
“We basically have quotes of positivity and words of encouragement,” Whiting said.
These signs come as a reaction to a bad one Van Der Sloot got earlier this year: she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer for the second time. She was originally diagnosed and beat it once in 2015.
“You never expect to hear these words – especially in a global pandemic: ‘You have cancer, space bar, again,'” Assistant Choir Director Randi Van Der Sloot said.
Right now, her condition is metastatic, meaning it has spread to different parts of her body. But there’s one thing she and her students refuse to let spread… and that’s negativity. Morgan Whiting and Carlee Hetland are members of the school’s Cancer Awareness Club. The group has a fundraiser for Van DerSloot through the new Chipotle by the Empire Mall.
“And I was like, ‘What!? Chipotle?'” Van Der Sloot said.
If you decide to dine there tonight, just mention the Cancer Club and 33-percent of your meal will be donated to Van Der Sloot’s family.
“It’s very heartwarming for me to know that she’s got these people: the cancer group, and all the kids, and all the love, gosh, and then the positivity wall, and, all of those things, for me… I couldn’t even put into words what that means,” Marty Van Der Sloot said.
And despite many of the posters bearing her name, Van Der Sloot says that it’s not just about her but sending a positive message for anyone going through hard times.
“These people that are just rallying, they’re not only positive for us, they’re just a joy and a positive group just to be around,” Van Der Sloot said.
The fundraiser goes from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Chipotle.
There is two ways to donate: either bring this flyer to the restaurant, or, if you order online, use the code.