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A Final Gift From Teacher Murdered in Texas School

Cynthia Tisdale's story is now bringing in money for treatment of her seriously ill husband
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2018 8:57 AM CDT
This photo provided by Eric Sanders shows Texas shooting victim Cynthia Tisdale, top right, with her husband, William Tisdale, center, and niece Leia Olinde, left.   (AP)

(Newser) – One of the victims in the Santa Fe school shooting was Cynthia Tisdale, a 63-year-old substitute teacher who WFMY reports was killed Friday while teaching a first-period art class. But while family and friends mourn her death in this "terrible act of violence," BuzzFeed notes a glimmer of hope amid the tragedy. Tisdale's job at Santa Fe High School was just one of two she held down to help her family get by, as her husband, William Recie Tisdale, is homebound with an incurable lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In December, William Tisdale was given just 12 to 18 months to live and was denied a lung transplant, so his family set up a GoFundMe page in March to help raise funds for a stem cell treatment, with an original goal of $30,000. Funds slowly trickled in—but Cynthia Tisdale's death changed the pace.

After the story of her death and her husband's plight started to circulate, money started pouring in; the page has since raised more than $100,000, which the family says will be used for funeral costs, the stem cell treatment, and even maybe a lung transplant from a different doctor, an option the family is now able to consider. CNN notes William Tisdale is "devastated" at his wife's murder, but the kindness of strangers and their financial support have raised his spirits. "We are still in such disbelief that anything good can come out of such a horrific event," one of Cynthia Tisdale's children writes on the GoFundMe page. "My mom always made good come out of bad situations though and this is no different for her." Cynthia Tisdale's brother wrote on Facebook, via BuzzFeed: "I am sure Cynthia is rejoicing in heaven knowing her death may save her husband of 47 years." (Read more Santa Fe school shooting stories.)

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