FARMINGTON, Miss. (WTVA) -- Heather Mayo's life was cut short by cancer nearly two years ago.
Now, her fellow teachers are doing their part to ensure her memory is kept alive in what they're doing.
"We taught first grade together, ate lunch every day across the table from each other. She was one of those friends that anybody would be fortunate to have," teacher Ginger Williams said.
Williams had difficulty holding back tears as she talked about her friend and colleague who died from melanoma cancer in 2011.
Ginger had been diagnosed with melanoma cancer not long after Mayo.
That’s another reason they became so close.
"The day I found out that I had it, she had had a major surgery that morning," Williams said. "It really was a scare for me. But believe it or not, she had had surgery a few hours before and called me that night in the hospital, wanting to know what the doctor said. That’s the type of person Heather was."
And that’s the memory Williams and other teachers at Alcorn Central Elementary want to keep alive.
They’re doing it by forming a team to raise money for Relay for Life.
Its name, aptly enough, is Heather’s Heroes.
"We just want people to remember Heather and to not let this happen again," Alcorn Central Elementary Principal Tammy Johnson said.
Since forming the team, teachers have raised money in a variety of ways, from selling T-shirts to letting students pay money to wear certain things to school on certain days.
"We’re starting to let kids wear a hat for a dollar, sunglasses for 50 cents, those kinds of things," Johnson said. "All of the money will go for Relay [for Life]. None of the money comes to [Alcorn] Central, that way it is a community effort."
Just last year, the school raised $1,000 for St. Jude’s Pennies for Patients campaign.
With this effort, they’ve already raised that amount as well, and the team will continue to sell the T-shirts until May 10.
Johnson said it's a promising sign that Heather’s memory will live on.
"I’m excited about that. To think that Heather’s Heroes could grow into something that could be long-lasting -- and Heather would be remembered, but also to try and stop cancer -- that would just be a legacy to leave for our school."
"I hope a cure for cancer comes from this, that no one would ever have to suffer from this again," Williams said, tears streaming down her face. "That is my hope."
For Williams, now a melanoma cancer survivor, that singular mission hits home more than anything else.