WEEPING WATER – Katrina Bescheinen has supported many students and fellow staff members in her teaching role at Weeping Water Elementary School.
The community displayed a similar level of affection for her Thursday night in her battle against cancer.
Residents from Weeping Water, Yutan and other local towns participated in a major fund-raising effort for Bescheinen. All proceeds from the annual Weeping Water basket auction went to Bescheinen to help her pay medical bills. Nehawka Bar and Grill owner Brian Miner also donated all proceeds from sales of sandwiches and chips to her.
Bescheinen, 35, said she was grateful for all of the people who spent their time and effort to help her in her cancer fight.
“The support has been so overwhelming,” Bescheinen said. “Everyone always talks about ‘dub-dub pride’ and how we’re one big family here in Weeping Water, and this is 100-percent ‘dub dub pride.’ It’s been so amazing to see all of the support here tonight.”
Bescheinen began her job as the elementary special education teacher at Weeping Water in the 2015-16 school year. Her enthusiasm and integrity helped her make many friends in the building and allowed her to assist students in a positive way. Weeping Water first-grade teacher Chris Meeske said staff members were eager to encourage and help Bescheinen during her time of need.
“She’s a wonderful person,” Meeske said. “She’s kind, caring and always willing to help others. She’s also a fighter, and we want her to know that we’re with her in this fight every step of the way.”
Bescheinen was initially diagnosed with cancer several years ago and was able to successfully cause it to go into remission. She found out this past Thanksgiving that the cancer had returned. Doctors discovered that the cervical cancer had spread from the location of the original tumors and had metastasized into her lungs.
Bescheinen and her family traveled to the Mayo Clinic to collect a second opinion and learn more about treatment options. She and her doctors have spent a large amount of time over the past eight weeks forming a plan to attack the cancer in both locations of her body.
Weeping Water teachers sold teal-colored t-shirts during Bescheinen’s first battle with cancer and held a benefit night for her. They decided to hold another fund-raiser Thursday to help Bescheinen with her financial obligations.
Many local businesses and organizations helped staff members create an auction that included dozens of different baskets. The items included a volleyball signed by Olympian Jordan Larson, home delivery of gravel for driveways and baskets full of supplies for movies, baking, artwork and teaching.
Girls and boys basketball teams from Yutan visited Weeping Water for regular-season games during the afternoon and evening. Yutan residents learned about the effort to help Bescheinen and donated entries to the auction as well. Many YHS fans came into the Weeping Water commons to place bids on various packages throughout the night.
Participants were able to write bids on pieces of paper in front of each basket or item. The auction ended at the end of the first quarter of the boys basketball game, and event organizers compiled winning bids at that point. Several of the entries sold for hundreds of dollars.
Meeske said teachers were pleased to see a large crowd spending time in the cafeteria and commons during the evening. She said they wanted to make sure they helped their friend in every way possible.
“She’s such a great person,” Meeske said. “This whole night is for her.”