Indiana High School Students Rally Around Beloved Art Teacher after Third Cancer Diagnosis

Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd

A former Taylor High School student couldn’t stand by idly when she found out that art teacher MaryAnne Dishon had received a third thyroid cancer diagnosis. Brie Boehler, now a student at Trine University in Angola, Indiana, secretly organized a fundraiser for Dishon who will begin radiation treatments this winter for the third time.

Boehler used some of the skills she learned from her former art teacher to design a T-shirt which she sold to raise money for Dishon. On the front of the shirt were the words “Strength is an Art” and on the back “#TeamDishon.” She recruited her mother as her helper since she was living on campus two hours away. “After Brie asked me, I spent two solid weeks praying and asking God to bless this,” said Tammy Shane, Boehler’s mother.

Shane’s prayers were answered when they doubled their goal of selling 100 shirts in just the first two days. All in all, they sold more than 400 shirts and raised more than $1,100 to help with Dishon’s expenses.

The entire fundraiser was kept secret from Dishon until all the shirts had been sold. Boehler invited Dishon to go to the high school basketball game where Dishon’s entire family waited to surprise her. At the game, the cheerleaders, basketball team and hundreds of fans had the shirts on to show their support. Dishon’s mother, Angie Budenz, said that Taylor High School was like a second home to her daughter and said that the school is known for its kindness and generosity.

Steve Dishon, MaryAnne Dishon’s husband said he was “blown away,” by the support from students and faculty at the school. “They think so much of MaryAnne that they went through all the trouble to do this. I think that’s pretty cool. It shows what an impact she has,” he said.