With big grins on their faces New Diana students talk about Miss Helen whose smile they say out shines them all. "A smile is worth a whole lot more than any words and Miss Helen just let that be known. All it took was a smile from her and it made your day better," said New Diana Junior, Lissy Turner. For Miss Helen seeing better days has been a challenge.
In 2005 she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her cancer went into remission, but recently, her health got worse. "This year she started feeling sick again and she went back to the doctor and unfortunately, the leukemia was back. Now she needes more treatment and a bone marrow," said New Diana teacher Debra Buie. Armed with "Help Miss Helen Day" signs and buckets, New Diana students set out to raise money for her bone marrow transplant. The community and school response was so good, that students raised more than $4,000 in one hour.
"We just asked for donations in the school parking lots and we gave away donuts and juice for the kids and the parents that donated. Some local churches donated a lot of money because everybody around here knows Mrs. Helen," said student, Jordan Rdanboothe. "I had kids meeting me in the hall and at the gym in the morning saying, "I have my money for Miss Helen where do I put it, where do I put it?" said Buie. A successful fundraiser, students say, for such a well-deserving and giving person. She has to be probably the sweetness old lady that came through the community," said Senior Chris Moore.
If you would like to donate to help Miss Helen, contact New Diana high school student council advisor, Pam Davis at 903 663-8001.