WEST MOBILE, Alabama -- Lining the hallways of their new school, the pink-clad students at Taylor-White Elementary clapped as their beloved teacher, Beth Prine, walked by.
Prine, wearing a pink tutu and sporting a pink streak in a blonde wig, was diagnosed with breast cancer over the summer. She’s undergone chemo therapy and lost her hair. She’s scheduled to have a mastectomy in November.
“I am just overwhelmed,” said Prine, 34, who has been teaching in Mobile County Public Schools since 2006.
Prine wiped tears from her eyes several times as she hugged the students
“I definitely feel the love,” she said.
Taylor-White Principal Diana Shaw said Friday that the entire school is inspired by Prine.
“Every time I see her face, it renews me with a sense of encouragement. She’s a person of great strength and great faith," Shaw said. “We wanted to make sure she knew she wasn’t forgotten.”
Prine, a physical education teacher, thought she was coming to the school for a simple visit. She walked into the gym and was led into the cafeteria, where students clapped for her. Then she walked down the student-lined hallway toward the main office.
She didn’t expect such a show of support. Students had written touching messages on cards and drawn art to hang on the walls. There were pink balloons and ribbons tied out front.
Students held signs that read: “You’re our hero.” “Stay Strong” and “I can’t wait to run with you!”
Shaw presented Prine with a check to help cover costs associated with her treatment. The school has sold “Pink for Prine” T-shirts – donated by the Trophy Shop - to raise the money.
Shaw gave Prine one of the T-shirts and escorted her and the children outside where a pink school bus with the words “Searching for a Cure” was parked.
A local company donated pink paint so the Mobile County Public School System could deck out an old school bus. The bus will be parked around the county to draw attention to breast cancer.
Students began cheering when they saw the bus.
“Pink for Prine!” they chanted. “Pink for Prine!”
The bus will be parked at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in downtown Mobile on Saturday, Oct. 26. Prine plans to participate in the walk, wearing the same tutu as well as some pink boxing gloves to show that she’s putting up a fight.
Prine is married with two small children. Her cousin, University of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, recently wore a pink bowtie in her honor.
Prine said the treatment has been tough, but she’s able to get through it with the support of her family, friends and Mobile County Public Schools. Prine has taught at Dodge and Collier elementaries and plans to go back to work in January at Taylor-White, which opened in August.
Prine said the children and their perspectives are heartwarming.
One girl told her that it’s okay that she’s bald, because sharks are bald, and they’re pretty cool.
“Dear Mrs. Prine, I am so sorry about what happened,” student Sarah Grace Munn wrote in a card. “But I’m happy that you’re coming back in January. You are the best P.E. teacher. … You are so brave to have kids and have breast cancer.”
Wrote another student named Bella: “We have a lot of faith in you. We can’t wait until you come to the gym… We miss you a lot.”
Comments on "Pink for Prine: Taylor-White students, staff surprise teacher with breast cancer"
SO MUCH TO SAY : EXCELLENT SEGMENT ON THIS WEBSITE FOR AN EXCELLENT PE TEACHER WHO HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THROUGH ANYTHING ! I HAVE THOUGHT AND PRAYED FOR YOU EACH DAY AND HERE IS AN OPP TO LET YOU KNOW . I STILL MISS YOU AND YOUR HAIR LOOKS - A - GOODA !! :) ! THIS ILLNESS HAS MET ITS MATCH AND NOTHING ELSE WILL EVER KEEP SUCH A FANTASTIC PERSON DOWN EITHER ! LIKE ANYONE WHO EVER MET YOU , I LUV . LUV , LUV YOU AND WILL CATCH U AT AN UNBUSY TIME FOR U IN THE FUTURE . U R ONE IN A TRILLION ! YOUR FACE IS WHAT A FAITH FILLED FACE LOOKS LIKE .
CLONE MAKERS ! WHERE ARE U . OVER HERE ! YES, YES, RIGHT HERE : WE NEED MORE OF THIS KIND ! DID I MAKE U LAUGH ? I WANNA MAKE U LAUGH ! KISS KISS HUG HUG !
Mrs. Prine's story brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that God, faith, a positive attitude, friends and family are essential ingredients to help anyone through their troubles. Mrs. Prime has all the right ingredients. Love and Peace be with you always Mrs. Prime.
You are loved by your students and that is obvious by the outpouring of support from your students. You can beat this horrible disease. You have plenty of support and lots of little precious ones depending on you. Get well soon!!!
What a great inspiration for others who are fighting this fight. I hope this story reaches others in the community. My prayers go with your as you make this journey and know you have so much love and support.