Principal Battling Cancer Tears Up as 500 Students Sing ‘Lean on Me’ in Her Honor

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
February 15, 2019 Updated: February 16, 2019

Having the support of friends and family while coping with cancer helps most people stay positive. Thus, when a California school’s principal was battling stage 4 cancer, 500 students did something incredibly special to motivate and cheer her up.

When Principal Youlin Aissa of George W. Bush Elementary School in Stockton saw students standing in honor of her and singing their hearts out to Bill Withers’s Lean on Me during what she thought was a typical school assembly, she was surprised.

Gepostet von George W. Bush Elementary School am Dienstag, 24. Oktober 2017

“I had no idea. I was totally shocked,” Aissa told KTVU. “It’s just crazy.”

“I’m still very shocked that all the students were able to keep it a secret after rehearsing it for two-weeks,” she said, according to MSN.

Aissa was clearly touched by the heartwarming serenade on Oct. 26, 2018, which was secretly planned by parents and staff.

She teared up as she watched innocent children hold up pink ribbon cutouts and belt out the song’s uplifting lyrics in unison.

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow, but if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow. Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on,” the students conveyed as words of encouragement to Aissa through their song.

©Facebook Video Screenshot | Stockton Unified School District

Back in November 2016, the then-37-year-old Aissa was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and took medical leave in order to undergo surgery and chemo treatment.

When she returned to school the following year, she didn’t have any hair and had to wear hats.

“I wore hats and had cute comments from kids,” Aissa recalled.

Photo courtesy of Stockton Unified School District

Sadly, the cancer relapsed, spreading to her lungs and developing to stage 4 in 2018.

“Unfortunately my battle has continued,” she said. “I guess that’s what prompted the teachers to organize the most recent show of support.”

Photo courtesy of Stockton Unified School District

Aissa had not discussed her health issues with her students all this while, but somehow the kids knew it.

A month before the serenade, during spirit week, the students showed their support for her and Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing pink.

“They wanted to make it a ‘Pink Day,’” Aissa recounted. “The campus was covered in pink.”

Aissa has planned to go to Stanford to receive further treatment while trying her best to turn up for work for the sake of her students and staff.

Needless to say, she is thankful to the students and her community for their immense support.

Photo courtesy of Stockton Unified School District

“Despite the illness, I’ve been shown a lot of blessings,” Aissa said. “Throughout this whole process, I’ve been absolutely humbled by the show of support and love teachers, parents, and district personnel have shown me.”

“Many of my colleagues have stepped up during my treatment in order for me to have as little work stress as possible.”

Most importantly, Aissa feels fulfilled as her students have learned firsthand how to sympathize with the suffering of others and demonstrate kindness.

“I’ve been so humbled, and when I look out at that sea of young faces, you can see they fully understand what it means to show love, care and compassion,” Aissa said. “And that shows we’ve done a good job.”

©Facebook Video Screenshot | Stockton Unified School District

With the support of the “Pink Army”—the students at George W. Bush Elementary—we’re sure Aissa will be able to have the courage she needs to battle cancer through the difficult times ahead.

Aissa, we pray that the angels of good health will raise you from your illness and that you will get better soon.

©Facebook Video Screenshot | Stockton Unified School District

Watch the heartwarming video:

Bush Elementary TK-3rd grade and special day class students surprised their principal, Ms. Youlin Aissa, with a special performance of "Lean On Me." Dubbed as her 'Pink Army', the school has been an incredible support for Ms. Aissa throughout her battle with breast cancer. Beautiful and tear-jerking performance 🎀 #Proud2bSUSD #breastcancerawarenessmonth

Gepostet von Stockton Unified School District am Freitag, 26. Oktober 2018