Community comes together for City Honors teacher battling brain cancer


Letters have been pouring in at the Jennings’ household. 

“I learned so much from you and I’m glad I got to be your student. I hope you and your daughter are good.”

These well wishes come from students, colleagues, friends, and even strangers. 

“It seems like a small gesture to send a card in the mail. But, when we get those things and we read them and it gives us all that kind of hope and happiness,” said Thomas Jennings. 

Those words are powerful during what has been a very difficult few months for the Jennings family. In December, Thomas’ wife, Erica, was rushed into emergency surgery after dealing with debilitating migraines. 

“December 21 was the first surgery. January 16 was the second one. So, it really right before Christmas and it kind of took off from there,” said Thomas. 

Doctor’s discovered Erica has a rare and aggressive brain tumor. Her teaching career at City Honors School and normal everyday life with her husband and daughter, Elle, were all suddenly put on hold as she fights the disease. 

“What kind of medical expenses are we going to have? What do we do about child care? Just little things that all start to kind of compile” said Thomas. 

His colleagues made a GoFundMe to collect donations for his family that has raised more than $37,000. 

“That support just gives us the opportunity to focus on what we need to and it’s touching,” said Thomas. 

Erica is now going through chemo and radiation. She and her husband are completely overwhelmed by the support. 

“I really can’t thank people enough. I’ve tried to come up with Facebook messages, emails I could send, thank you cards to write. It’s nearly impossible to put it into words.”

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