Spokane tutors bring the classroom to cancer patients - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane tutors bring the classroom to cancer patients

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Every child deserves an education, but for many of the children fighting for their lives inside Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, the classroom isn't an option. That's why a group of volunteers work to bring the classroom to them.

"Each day, they have to go through unbelievable amounts of suffering and loneliness," said volunteer Joe Staebell.

We were able to catch up with Staebell, or as the children call him, Mr. S, as he tutored them earlier this month.

"These kids have so many holes in their lives," he said. "The aim of our school is just to give some sense of being a real kid because they deserve it."

Mr. S and the other volunteers teach the students, both patients and their siblings, inside a classroom that is just feet away from their hospital beds.

"We can go from a preschooler to a 19-year-old," he said.

Mr. S is a retired teacher. He taught for more than 40 years. He said it's an honor to get to continuing educating our youth inside Sacred Heart.

"Everyday I get to do this is a blessing," he said.

One of the students he was helping when KHQ was there was a 14-year-old boy from Moses Lake. The teens baby brother has been in the hospital for a few months. He dropped everything to be there to keep his brother, and entire family, strong.

"When he sees us all together, he gets really happy," Valdez said. "He tries to walk. He's motivated by us."

And Mr. S said he's motivated by students like him.

KHQ asked him how long he plans to do this. His response?

"Forever. As long as they will have me."

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