She’s the smiling face that greets students, parents and staff at Duncanville ISD’s Reed Middle School, but last May, a cloud of concern formed for Marian Chappel. She learned she had breast cancer. “It’s a mind changer,” Chappel said. “I think you realize what’s important and what’s not important. You value your family more.”
Chappel has worked at Duncanville ISD for 10 years; seven of those she’s spent as a receptionist at Reed. “She’s amazing,” said Reed Assistant Principal, Lesley Hash. “She’s been here for a long time. She’s a staple at Reed – very loved by students and staff.”
When it came time to tell someone her diagnosis, Chappel didn’t want to upset her adult children, so she confided in her work friends first. “When I first found out, I couldn’t even say the word,” Chappel said. The Reed Middle School family responded by organizing a fundraiser to help Chappel with her medical expenses. Students volunteered to pass buckets to collect donations at one of the Panthers’ home football games.
The first week of October, Athletic Director, Cathy Self-Morgan presented the money to Chappel. She said she’ll donate at least half of it to another woman struggling with breast cancer because she understands how difficult the fight can be. Chappel said she’s strengthened by her support network at Duncanville ISD. “They’ve been great,” Chappel said. “Everyone is so supportive. I get hugs every day.”