Teacher's dying wish fulfilled by students after losing her battle to cancer

Ksenia Novikova
Jun 29, 2018
01:08 P.M.

A Georgia teacher named Tammy Waddell had one selfless dying wish. She asked fellow teachers, family, friends, and students to bring backpacks filled with school supplies to her funeral instead of flowers.


She died on June 9 after losing her battle against cancer. According to a tweet by her cousin, people honored her dying wish at her funeral.

Tammy Waddell, 58, died at the beginning of the month after a long fight with stomach cancer. Her obituary suggested that donations be made in her memory to Project Connect.

This is a local program that provides backpacks to needy students. On June 13 at her funeral service, teachers lined up bearing backpacks filled with school supplies.


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Waddell's cousin and fellow educator, Dr. Brad Johnson, tweeted the inspiring images.

In an interview with Good Morning America, Johnson shared that his cousin had been inspirational in him achieving all that he had. “She was as quick to give a hug as she was quick to give supplies to students who needed it," he said

"The message she would try and deliver at this point is donate to your local schools. It doesn't have to be here specifically."

Kevin Waddell, ABC News, June 26, 2018

His tweet received thousands of retweets and replies from users who were touched by Waddell's request. The late teacher had worked in Forsyth County Schools in Georgia for 30 years.


In 2003, she was recognized as the county elementary school teacher of the year. Her son, Kevin Waddell, 35, who is also a teacher in Forsyth County Schools, revealed that "it was no shock to learn the backpacks were one his mother's final requests.”

He confessed that one of the things he had loved about his mother was the passion she had as a teacher. According to him, it was one of the inspirations that led him to the profession.


His mother's story has reached as far as Great Britain. People there were offering to send school supplies in honor of the late educator.

"She lived life by loving others and she was never worried about attention … she was just focused on the love," he added. Besides her son, Waddell is also survived by a husband of 41 years, another son, B.J. Waddell, and four grandchildren.

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