Teacher of the year loses battle with rare cancer - CBS46 News

Teacher of the year loses battle with rare cancer

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MARIETTA, GA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Michelle Wexler, 28, was diagnosed earlier this summer with uterine sarcoma, and on Friday she lost her seven-month battle.

"Michelle was the most joyful loyal friend," Caitlyn Joiner said.

Joiner has been friends with Wexler since the third grade.

"Throughout this whole time, she had hope and just really cared about other people, and that just made her personality shine even more," Joiner said.

Wexler was voted teacher of the year at Mimosa Elementary in Roswell for the 2013-2014 school year. This year, Wexler was also a finalist for teacher of the year in Fulton County.

"I told her, 'You are not just my daughter, you are my best friend,' and she said, 'And you are my best friend too, mom,'" Wanda Wexler said.

Wanda Wexler said her daughter lived by the theme from the movie Finding Nemo, to just keep swimming no matter what happened.

"At the very end, when she got real sick, she kept saying, ‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming' that was her motto, and now I am hoping she is dancing in heaven and all the pain and suffering is over."

On Monday, Kennesaw State University presented Michelle Wexler's parents with a diploma after she earned her specialist degree in early childhood education.

For more information on how you can help Michelle Wexler's family and raise money to help others battling cancer, the family set up an online account.

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