Written by a friend and colleague Courtney Cook on behalf of Briana Kramer.
Some teachers teach for selfish reasons. They clock in and clock out without any regard for their students.
Briana Kramer (everyone knows her as just "Kramer") is not one of those teachers. She has given so much to her students and her school community over the past 6 years and now it is time for us to give a little bit back.
In February of this year, Kramer was informed that the pressure she has been feeling in her throat for the past 3 years was not just a fluke, but was, in fact, a tumor. After multiple exams, blood work, ultrasounds, and finally a biopsy, it was discovered that at age 31, she has thyroid cancer.
She now has to juggle her professional job of being a high school English teacher, her recently started graduate program in military history, and now her cancer diagnosis. Being a teacher is hard enough, but adding cancer makes it way more difficult.
Anyone who knows Kramer can tell you that her work is super important to her and taking time off to take care of herself is not an easy decision. This is someone who has spent countless weekends chaperoning trips, volunteering at community events, and even going as far as to introduce one of her students to his hero at a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo rodeo event (a process that was over a year in the making).
She is also the advisor and creator of our schools video game club and has held the position for 4 years now. She went out of her way to secure donations from multiple donors in order to build the most engaging and up to date after school club on campus.
Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people. This diagnosis is taking its toll on her emotionally and physically. She is forced to take days off for doctor appointments, medical tests, multiple biopsies, and soon surgery, which will require over a week off from work. It is not easy for her to ask for help. In fact, she's ashamed. Shame should be the last thing she is thinking about right now.
Time off is not free. Though our organization does allot time off for teachers, anyone who has worked in a school knows that this amount of time is sometimes just not enough, especially when unexpected, dire things happen. Kramer is out of personal and time and sick days and because of this, she must take personal days without pay. Each time she has an appointment, her pay is deducted. One day off from work is enough to deeply impact her in a negative way financially.
I am humbly asking for support so that she may go to her appointments/surgery/follow up appointments without the fear of how she is going to afford taking the time off to do so.
Please consider donating to her cause.
- Patricia Wu
- Cindy Skovgard
- Elizabeth Ruff
- Shelby Hunt