DAVENPORT - Seventh grader Keegan Shovlain still deals with pain after a horrific accident just more than a year ago.
"There were days when I didn't want to be at school at all," Shovlain said. "My little brother died last year, so I missed a lot of school."
In February of 2016, Keegan's three-year-old brother Braddock was accidentally hit and killed by a car in the parking lot of All Saints Catholic School. The pain is still deep in the heart of his mother Renee Shovlain, who spoke publicly for the first time on Thursday, February 23, 2017.
"It's obviously been very traumatic," Shovlain said. "It's been a year of healing."
That's where Keegan's former teacher at St. Paul the Apostle, Brooke DiIulio, comes into play.
"I just really felt a connection to him," DiIulio said. "I got to know his family better. I just tried to be more involved in his life outside of school."
DiIulio would go to some of Keegan's basketball games just to show him support. A year after she gave him as much support as he needed, Keegan wanted to return the favor. In February, Keegan nominated DiIulio for a My Favorite Teacher Award.
In order to win the award, Keegan had to write a letter to WQAD News 8, about why he thought Brooke DiIulio was worthy of winning.
"She helped me become a better student while guiding me through the worst time of my family's life," Keegan said. "Mrs. DiIulio's passion for teaching and making connections with students goes beyond books and white boards."
DiIulio says Keegan has grown up so much over the past year by helping his younger brothers. Keegan has her to thank for helping him deal with the pain. He says she was there for him, every step of the way.
DiIulio received a $25 Visa gift card from Blackhawk Bank and Trust and a blanket from Western Illinois University Quad Cities for winning the award. Keegan received a $50 Visa gift card from the bank and a water bottle from the university.