Paying It Forward: Honoring Wendy Callery

MUSCATINE, Iowa – Nervous but excited Karen Kording can’t wait to honor her daughter saying “my daughter is awesome and I think she needs recognition for what she does.”

“Don’t have such a shocked look on your face. I nominated you to receive WQAD Channel 8 “Pay It Forward” for all the things you do to help other people and your students and your own kids.  This for you and I want you to spend it on you please cause you never spend it on yourself. I love you very much – I love you Wendy.”

Still surprised  Wendy Callery says “it was very kind of her I have no idea what to say.”

The day after her latest medical procedure Callery is back teaching at Jefferson Elementary School in Muscatine.

Her mom has watched her daughter go through a lot “12 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer – she went through chemo and radiation barely missed any school just kept on going.”

Five years later the cancer metastasized into her bone, but that hasn’t slowed her down either.

Working through it all to help others, is why her mom says she wanted to “Pay It Forward.”  Kording says “the cancer is in her system because of her lymph nodes but she works through it all.”

Still surprised Callery says she doesn’t know what she’ll spend the money on.  Instead she wants to talk about what she does know “this whole building is like family. I gotta keep busy I enjoy everything that I do.”

Then it’s right back to her daily lesson and routine.

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