Two communities cheer on football, elementary school principal w - WNEM TV 5

Two communities cheer on football, elementary school principal with cancer

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"It's been a roller coaster since last April," said Heidii Periard.

That's when Birch Run's North Elementary School Principal Heidii Periard got the news: she has pancreatic cancer.

"It has been a spiritual experience for our family, and learning and trusting in God to do what's best," Heidii Periard said.

Her husband, Birch Run High School athletic director Phil Periard, has been with her every step of the way.

"It's been tough on everyone, but the support has been wonderful. It's a great community, it really is," Phil Periard said.

And on Friday, the last day of regular season high school football, the community stepped up.

Fans wore purple to the football game against Michigan Lutheran Seminary, the color intended to raise awareness for the disease.

MLS also urged their fans to wear purple to support the Periards.

And standing by Heidii Periard's side, her friend and cheerleading coach Kelly Diffin. It was her idea that blossomed into a schoolwide push.

"We thought it maybe would be good to cheer for a cause, and we did the pancreatic cancer research. And I did not have any idea it was going to get this big," Diffin said.

Heidii Periard said she's thankful everyone has stepped up and rallied behind her in her time of need.

"Lots of support, lots of prayer. Lots of food. Lots of, what can I do, how can I help. And really, it's great being at school with all the little ones and their parents are our wonderful staff," Heidii Periard said.

The kind of pancreatic cancer Heidii Periard has is rare, but she is receiving treatment and is optimistic she will beat cancer.

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