Meaningful Meals

Digital Arts Teacher Starts Meal Train For Math Teacher Battling Breast Cancer


Lydia Breuer, Photo Editor

Math teacher Patricia Bird teaches her second period class April 23.

Lydia Breuer, Photo Editor

Breast cancer can be a devastating diagnosis, especially at 45 years old, but math teacher Patricia Bird is determined to fight the disease that afflicts so many women.

When digital arts teacher Cathy Kuehne learned Bird was starting chemotherapy treatment every three weeks for four sessions, she created a meal train to donate dinner every Tuesday and Thursday through July.

You can sign up to join the meal train here: Meal Train for Patricia Bird 

I was having some unusual pains under my left arm, and during a yearly check-up they found a mass that had to be further tested,” Bird said. “A few weeks later it was confirmed as breast cancer. I was kind of sad when I found out, but sort of knew it was coming my way.”  

For many, breast cancer is hereditary, and while it can be ruthless, it is beatable.

Then I saw that even students were signing up, and that just made me feel exceptional!”

— math teacher Patricia Bird

“Breast cancer runs in my family,” Bird said. “My mother passed away from it when I was a senior in high school, and my older sister was diagnosed when she was only 32. She beat it and so will I. We are survivors!”

Kuehne started the meal train in order to help Bird with one less thing to worry about.

“When you are going through chemotherapy and treatments, and you still have a family at home that you are trying to take care of,” Kuehne said. “It just kind of helps alleviate some of the pressure about the nightly ‘What is for dinner, Mom?’ kind of thing. It just gives her the chance to have a little bit of a break and a little bit of help and support.”

Bird said she was overwhelmed with emotion and cried when she first learned about the meal train for her.

“It makes me feel special that so many people care and are willing to help in any way,” Bird said. “Then I saw that even students were signing up, and that just made me feel exceptional!”

Librarian Shelly Myers is one of the donors and plans to bring Mexican lasagna and chicken enchiladas.

“Mrs. Bird is one of my favorite people, and I want to help her and her family in any way that I can,” Myers said. “I was lucky enough to have her children in class when I taught English, and as a coworker, I value what a great teacher she is, and how much she cares for our students.”  

Bird said this is a journey she will ultimately face alone, but the support from so many people will help her do that. 

“The doctors tell you how important it is to have support through it all,” Bird said. “Well, with the love of my Badger family I am never alone, and I am going to kick this cancer’s butt!”