Tim's Travels: Local Educator Battling Cancer

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

Many people in our community know and love Lori Burns. Born and raised in Beloit, she's touched a lot of lives in her more than 20 years as an educator. Today, the favor is being returned as the community comes together to support her in the fight of her life.

“This is my world now and God has equipped my whole life for this,”

For the second time in her life, Lori Burns is battling cancer.

“I'm not angry, I've heard of people who get angry, I'm not angry,”

The 44-year-old mother of three beat breast cancer several years ago.

“I had both my breasts removed, I had a double mastectomy,”

But earlier this year, her health started to decline.

“I was just not myself,”

Working as principal at Monroe Elementary in Janesville, her staff started to notice something was wrong.

“I think the pivotal moment was in January my secretary found me sleeping on my desk at work,”

After a few tests, doctors found lesions on her brain, liver and lungs. They broke the news to Lori and her husband Bob; cancer was back

“I just remember holding my husbands hand and saying I'm sorry,” Lori said becoming emotional. “That was the tough moment for me,”

“I got sad and I cried and it was hard, I wasn't expecting it at all,” said Lori's youngest son, Ethan.

“I was just very numb to it at first,” said Lori's 16-year-old daughter Natalie. “It was just like no it can't be true, I didn't really believe it and I didn't want to believe it,”

Natalie says through it all, her mom has been unbreakable.

“Strong by far, she's strong, she's courageous,”

In a recent show of support, friends, family and strangers came out in full force to a high school basketball game decked out in purple.

“It just makes me feel good, like wow people care,” said Natalie

“I can't even describe to you what it's like to have that kind of support,” added Lori.

Her faith and her family provide her comfort she needs as she continues to cherish every moment she has left on this earth.

“I'm not really worried about time, I'm not. I'm just at peace,” said Lori. “I believe in heaven and I believe I have a place there,”

A benefit is being planned for Lori and her family:

Monroe Elementary Staff vs. Students Basketball game
Friday, March 15th
Doors open @ 5:30 pm
Tip-off is at 6 pm
Janesville Craig High School
Donations accepted! You can make checks payable to Burns Benefit.

Donations are also accepted at Educational Employees Credit Union located at 2330 Kennedy Road, Janesville.

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