Community rallies around beloved coach diagnosed with cancer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Community rallies around beloved coach diagnosed with cancer

(WMC-TV) - A Tennessee community is rallying around a beloved coach battling cancer.

Students at Dyersburg Primary School take their health very seriously, which is why there are concerned about their P.E. coach, Harold Gooch.

Gooch was diagnosed in early January with stage IV lung cancer.

"It makes me feel kind of sad for him and bad because I used to love him and he was a great P.E. coach," said student Anna Staggs.

"Obviously, it's been very hard on him, but he's a very positive person and very close with Jesus and all," said student Matt Madden.  "It's helped him to get through it."

Gooch has had an impressive career.  He graduated from Humboldt High School and went on to attain his Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee State University.  He taught at Trenton Middle School for two years before joining the staff at Dyersburg Primary School for the last 23 years.

"He's led by example, and when he preaches to them to live a healthy lifestyle, he lives it," said colleague Connie Brewer.

"I love to run with him," said student Jarrod Lowrance.  "He teaches jump rope."

Gooch is now facing a tough fight, but he is battling it with the same excitement and attitude he used in the classroom and has made him so popular with his students.

"His laughter, it's really fun," said Staggs.  "He just laughs and it's a really cute laugh and I miss him a lot."

The Friends of Harold Gooch will be holding a chili supper Tuesday, February 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Dyersburg Primary School Cafeteria.  You can also donate to the Harold Gooch Fund at any Security Branch Bank.

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