LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Students and teachers at St. Vincent de Paul elementary school in Long Beach are showing their love and support for a longtime teacher who's battling breast cancer.
Her strength, determination and faith are an inspiration to others.
Sixth grade students wore colorful head scarves Thursday to show love and support for their teacher, Cindy Cox.
Friday morning, they dropped the scarves into baskets before the daily mass.
Prayers were lifted during mass for Cox, who sees her struggle against breast cancer as a journey of faith to share with others.
"Being in a Catholic school, we not only teach academics, but we teach our faith. And this is not only a way to teach it, but we can live our faith. We can walk this journey together and live out our faith. And just do what God calls us to do," Cox explained.
Ten-year-old Katie Huey answered the call to donate her hair. Joanne Nicely from "Pink Heart Funds" cut the fifth grader's long, blonde locks.
"I cut my hair for the "Pink Heart Funds" and I did it because of all the kids and adults that have cancer, so they can have my beautiful hair," said the young student.
Those colorful scarves, worn with love by her students, were blessed by the priest and given to Cox.
"As she wears them, may she be filled with the warmth of your love and strength of your Holy Spirit," said the priest.
"I've very proud of them. It's a beautiful thing they did. We love Mrs. Cox very much and as she mentioned, we teach the children about living their faith and this is definitely a good example of that," said principal, Sherry McAllister.
The beloved teacher was overwhelmed.
"When I found out I had cancer, I prayed about it and said, okay God, if you want me to take this journey I will. And I never imagined it would be this kind of journey. I thought it was going to be a journey of pain and suffering. But It has not been. It's been a journey of love and uplifting because of all of you. And because of God and because of my family," said Cox, with tear filled eyes.
Students also held a "Pink Hearts" bake sale to show support for their teacher. Saturday they'll participate in the "Walk for Hope" on a team called "Cox's Crusaders".