Education

After months of chemo, girl is ‘surrounded with joy’ on return to school

Endless line of love: School welcomes back student after months of chemo

Michaela Richardson, 9, returned to Sandersville Elementary School in Lexington after a five-month leave to focus on fighting cancer. Students, teachers and staff made sure Michaela knew how they felt about having her back.
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Michaela Richardson, 9, returned to Sandersville Elementary School in Lexington after a five-month leave to focus on fighting cancer. Students, teachers and staff made sure Michaela knew how they felt about having her back.

Michaela Richardson, 9, has been away from her Sandersville Elementary School in Lexington since late November while undergoing chemotherapy treatments that helped her fight anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

When Michaela’s treatments ended and she was strong enough to return to classes Tuesday, “she was excited, but a little nervous,” her mother, Risa Richardson, said. Her parents were afraid the transition might be difficult for the third-grader.

Instead, “we were super surprised that the whole school was there to welcome her back to school,” said Risa Richardson. “The teachers had roses. The kids had decorated the hallways with posters and a big banner. As she walked down the hall, they were clapping. It was thunderously loud. They were cheering. It was the warmest welcome that you can ever imagine.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from Sandersville and Michaela's teacher,” Lisa Kendrick, and classmates, said her mother. They have surrounded her with joy and kept her spirits lifted throughout this ordeal.”

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears

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