Suffolk takes care of its own

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, November 26, 2016

One of the scariest experiences that could happen to any parent is the possibility of not being able to be there for their children.

Katie Ruehl, a North Suffolk resident and sixth-grade English teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School, is facing that possibility in the next few months. Ruehl has been diagnosed with a brain tumor — probably benign, doctors say — and the tumor has to be removed.

Ruehl will experience about a week of recovery in the hospital after surgery takes place, along with many weeks of additional recovery. Doctors have said after-effects of the tumor and surgery could include hearing loss and facial drooping.

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She’s terrified of not being able to hold her children, son Nathan and daughter Audrey, even though her husband, Adam, and other family members will be helping out. But at least, thanks to the Suffolk community, she won’t have to worry about her family not being taken care of.

Ruehl was concerned about the loss of income, as she won’t be able to finish out the school year and she used up a lot of leave last spring when Audrey was born. But two of her fellow teachers, Valerie Smith and Farren Webb, set up a GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000 to help support the family.

Donations have come in from all over to support the Ruehl family, and just this week, the account surpassed the $10,000 mark. Many of the donations have been from Suffolk.

What a blessing to the Ruehl family in its time of need, and what a great testament — yet again — to how the Suffolk community looks out for each other.