Students show support for coach during fight against cancer

Coach+Les+Peacock+%28center%29+stands+with+members+of+his+2019+golf+team.+Peacock+is+currently+fighting+cancer+and+is+receiving+support+from+students+and+community+members.+

courtesy photo

Coach Les Peacock (center) stands with members of his 2019 golf team. Peacock is currently fighting cancer and is receiving support from students and community members.

By Kelsey Soape, Willis High School

Wildkats stand together.

It is more than just words. Being part of the Wildkat family means sharing celebrations, sharing memories and especially sharing the tough times.

Coach Les Peacock is in the middle of the fight of his life, and his Wildkat family has proven that Wildkats stand together during the toughest of times.

“I will never be able to repay the kindness that they have shown with their actions,” Peacock said. “I’m also extremely proud of being a part of this school.”

He has recently been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer and is currently receiving treatment for his illness.

“So many people offer words of support and comfort and those are so needed and crucial in a situation like this,” Peacock said. “But when those words turn into actions, there’s no way to explain how that feels. The students here put words into action.”

Senior Anna Chapa has taken a leap and started a GoFundMe page to open up the fundraiser to anyone who wants to help. In six days, over $4,000 has been raised for Peacock. She has also started making wristbands she is selling for $5.

“I was motivated because Coach Peacock is such an amazing teacher,” Chapa said.  “He is very caring and he does so much for Willis. I wanted to show him how much I cared and how I wanted to help him out in every way possible.”

Student Council also wants students and staff to come together and raise money for Coach Peacock and his family as he undergoes treatment.

“Originally, we planned to partner with the Lymphoma/Leukemia Society to raise money for the ‘Pennies for Patients’ campaign,” Carey said. “But then we agreed that the opportunity to directly help the Peacock family was the right thing to do.”

Students from all clubs and organizations are welcome to join in on the fundraiser to support Peacock.

“If students and staff want to help they can come to Mrs. Carey, Danae Lesner, or myself,” junior Carlie Rutledge said. “We welcome anyone to help. We just want this to be a big thing because Coach Peacock is one of our own and we want to keep him around as long as he’ll stay here.”

Peacock is amazed at the support of the fundraiser. He did not know the true following he had by students and staff until now.

“My reaction is total amazement,” Peacock said. “The students at Willis High School care for people, it doesn’t matter who those people are, they just care. If there is a need there has always and will always be a WHS student that is eager and willing to  step up and work to meet that need.”

Student Council members are eager to help as much as they can and are willing to open the fundraiser for other clubs to join.

“I feel like if any other clubs wanted to join, Mrs. Carey wouldn’t mind if they did,” Rutledge said. “I know personally I’m hoping that this will end up being a school-wide effort because Coach Peacock is one of our very own teachers, and I think we need to support him all the way through”

Peacock was shocked at the response of students at the school and their unconditional support.

“Sometimes as adults we tend to believe students are wrapped up in their own little worlds and are totally oblivious to the rest of the world, but I am here to tell you that this is far from the truth,” Peacock said. “The help they have provided and the work they have done far exceeds any expectations I had. In short I am blown away!”

This story was originally published on The Voice of the Wildkats on January 28, 2020.