Las Vegas assistant principal continues to work while battling stage four colon cancer

A Las Vegas educator battling stage four colon cancer hasn’t let it stop her from showing up to work.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 9:09 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Las Vegas educator battling stage four colon cancer hasn’t let it stop her from showing up to work. She is inspiring many with her dedication to her job and students continuing to work through treatment.

Rachael Peckham has spent the last 20 years as an educator, mostly as a middle school teacher, and is now the Assistant Principal at Coral Academy Las Vegas, Nellis Airforce Base.

“It is changing kids’ lives, it is impacting kids, that is what gets me up in the morning,” Peckham said.

Getting to school is now a challenge for the veteran educator each and every day.

“I had pain in my liver for about 6 months… I ignored… chocked up to stress,” Peckham said.

In November, she finally went to the Emergency Room where a mass was found on her liver.

“We thought was just going to be a simple bowel resection… that turned into 17 days in the hospital,” Peckham said.

Peckham was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer and is currently doing 12 rounds of chemotherapy, one round every other week.

“My off weeks I come to school, do what I can,” Peckham said.

“She has still been very vigilant and hard working through this whole thing,” said Johnathan Yutuc, Principal of Coral Academy Nellis Air Force Base.

Yutuc said Peckham is an inspiration to the school and the community.

“We want to return that favor of all the guidance and support she has given us, we want to be able to support her as much as we can,” Yutuc said.

Friends are raising money for hospital bills, a genetic test that her insurance has denied and to help offset her 50% cut in income.

“When I am not at work, I don’t get paid,” Peckham said.

Peckham will continue to work through the summer. Work is a welcome distraction from her cancer battle.

“I guess if I stop and think about it… I am in a fight for my life, but again, it is what you got to do. There is no quitting… I am totally set on beating this,” Peckham said.

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