Salute Our Heroes: Teacher goes above and beyond to help family

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 4:49 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A Manhattan family has been facing a tough battle as third grader Jaxon Detlie is fighting leukemia, but that wouldn’t stop one of his teachers.

Jaxon would love to be among his third grade classmates at Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Manhattan, but on June 27th he was diagnosed with T-ALL leukemia. This means Jaxon logs in for his lessons on zoom as he travels to Kansas City for treatment once a week. His family gives credit to his teacher Natalie Banks with going above and beyond to keep him connected with everything going on.

Jaxon’s dad, Joshua, was very appreciative of what she’s done for them. “She’s been amazing, she started like a t-shirt fundraiser where she designed the t-shirts and everything a go fund me she patient with him on zoom everything she’s just been great,” said Detlie.

Banks knew firsthand how the family felt and how they might need help as her younger sister battled a different form of leukemia a few years ago. “I didn’t think twice about it I just knew that’s what I needed to do and I think of my students as my own kids, I’m a mom myself so I just think about what I would want my son to be treated like and done for him too,” said Banks.

Banks set up a go fund me, made a warrior bag, held a t-shirt fundraiser, created cards, and sent videos of the class on treatment days to cheer Jaxon up. She also has a stuffed monkey keeping his chair warm, so his classmates know he’s with them. Although Banks said she couldn’t do all this by herself. “Our school is great in pulling together were definitely a family here all of the staff I’ve been approached by probably everybody asking what they can do to help. They’ve all helped with donations and making sure that Jaxon is taken care of as far as his learning needs too,” said Banks.

Banks said this is an example of why she loves what she does. “This takes me back to why I do what I do. I love to make students feel cared and loved for and that they matter, so that the learning comes second I always wanna make sure that their loved and cared for and that they feel safe because that’s when their gonna learn the most,” said Banks.

With Jaxon going through this is showed the kids in his class what was going on and how they can be there for him. “It’s amazing to see them showing empathy for Jaxon. They had a lot of questions about what leukemia was and what his treatments were gonna be like and we talked about his appearance right now from his treatments, but the kids are very empathic and they understand what Jaxon’s probably feeling right now and they are super excited to do things to help support him,” said Banks.

Joshua Detlie said they are blessed to have not only Mrs. Banks but the whole school support them as well. “She didn’t have to do any of those things but she did them you know and I just thought that was pretty cool of her and were lucky to have her as a teacher. I just want to thank everyone from Woodrow Wilson and everyone that supported all of us throughout all this stuff prayers everything just thank everyone,” said Detlie.

Jaxon also has a twin sister as she has been his biggest supporter throughout the battle. Detlie also mentioned that Jaxon is very excited to get back to school with his friends as he enters the final stages of his recovery process.