Hometown Hero Leads Her School While Battling Daughter's Cancer

FAIR GROVE, Mo. -- Charity Hollan is the principal at Fair Grove Middle School. Her co-workers describe her as being an outstanding and professional leader who always maintains a positive attitude.

But there's something else that's very special about Mrs. Hollan; she's a dedicated wife and mother of two beautiful daughters: Pearl, 4, and Claire, 3.

Hollan was seven months pregnant with Claire when Pearl was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and bilateral kidney failure. For years, Mrs. Hollan and her husband Chris, along with their in-laws, drove back and forth from Fair Grove to a hospital St. Louis.

Pearl started chemotherapy treatments when one of her kidneys was removed. Her other kidney failed and she went on full-time dialysis. Later, Pearl had heart failure and was admitted to the St. Louis hospital.

While waiting for a possible heart and kidney transplant, Pearl eventually received a kidney transplant.

Mrs. Hollan's co-workers say no matter what, she was always there for her family but was always there for the school needs as well. She always returned to work ready to achieve higher goals. Hollan said returning to work was actually a relief.

"It was almost a saving grace. It's actually what got me through, because I know how to do this. I know how to do my job; I don't know how to be a mom of a cancer baby. And so it was almost a break to be able to come back to work and the love and support that the community here at Fair Grove has given me has surpassed any expectation that I could have ever imagined."

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