By Jessica Willey
Michelle Wistrand is the kind of teacher who connected with her students.
"I love Mrs. Wistrand, she's my favorite teacher," one student said.
Last year, Mrs. Wistrand revealed to her students some devastating news from her doctor. After living with Leiomyosarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissue since 2015, she was given a deadline.
"They said two to five years, more or less. Could be more. Could be less," Mrs. Wistrand told Houston's KTRK.
So, she came up with a bucket list and shared that list with her students.
"Told them my first wish was to go to the redwood forest and put my feet in the pacific ocean," Mrs. Wistrand said.
For her students, it was a no-brainer. They set up fundraisers and a Go Fund Me account which raised more than $11,000 dollars. She saw the forest and the ocean, but also the sea turtles in Florida, her son on stage in Iowa and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island that was in one of her favorite movies.
"Seeing everything God has created from one side, I'm going to cry, one side of the U-S to the other side of the U-S is just phenomenal that it can be so different," Mrs. Wistrand said.
But none of it would have been possible without the generosity of others and the teens who love her.
"It's upsetting to love someone so much and know the end is coming its upsetting," Alana Lee, a student of Mrs. Wistrand said.
"I think it shows she was an awesome teacher and she's had such an impact on the community," student Mickey Nolan said.
Last week, her doctor recommended she move toward Hospice care soon. She doesn't fear death.
"I have learned that people are kind and compassionate and that Christ is my all," Mrs. Wistrand said.
Her students take comfort in the fact they provided her with some happiness, even if it isn't for as long as they'd like.
"What I did I would have never been able to do at all," Mrs. Wistrand said.
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