School staffers wear orange to show support for librarian battling leukemia

Coral Canyon Elementary School staff members wore orange to school to support school librarian Susan Lowder, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Photo taken at Washington City, Utah, Oct. 22, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY — Although orange is already a popular color to wear in October, the staff of Coral Canyon Elementary decided to show their support for school librarian Susan Lowder, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. 

Photo of Susan Lowder in the hospital, shared in an update posted by her husband on their GoFundMe page, St. George, Utah, Oct. 24, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Jeff Lowder, St. George News

“Orange is the official color for leukemia, and with it being Halloween, it was the perfect time for us all to sport the color orange at school,” fellow faculty member Suzie Christensen said. 

Christensen said Lowder was first diagnosed with leukemia one month ago, when she was admitted to the hospital on Sept. 28.

“That’s when she received her diagnosis,” Christensen said. “It was ‘Wham! Bam!’ She has cancer.”

After spending more than two weeks in the intensive care unit at Dixie Regional Medical Center, Lowder is now doing physical therapy while receiving chemotherapy treatments.

Coral Canyon Elementary School lunch ladies, who were not present for the main group photo taken earlier, also wore orange to support librarian Susan Lowder. Photo taken at Washington City, Utah, Oct. 26, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Suzie Christensen, St. George News

“She has battled many obstacles since being there, one problem after another,” Christensen added. “With COVID-19, it’s very frustrating because not only is she battling ‘luke,’ but with no visitors to help motivate her and keep her spirits up, it’s been really tough.”

To that end, her orange-clad colleagues are rallying not only to lift her spirits but also to raise money to ease the financial burden associated with medical expenses.

A GoFundMe campaign established by Lowder’s husband Jeff Lowder has already raised $7,745 in donations as of Wednesday. 

Christensen, who called Lowder “one of the nicest people you will ever meet,” said she is affectionately known as “Susan Sparkle” by the Coral Canyon staff, a nod to the jewelry business she owns and operates.

 In her duties as a school librarian, Lowder has helped many children get excited about reading, including helping promote the highly popular “Bikes for Books” program initiated three years ago by the local Masonic Lodge. 

She also serves as the adviser for the school’s student council and works as an online teacher for Chinese students.

Before her transfer to Coral Canyon Elementary about five years ago, Lowder worked as the librarian at Dixie High School for many years. She also is the mother of three children and three stepchildren.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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