Teacher battling cancer gets surprise from former Patriot

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — A Lincoln elementary school teacher who is fighting a brave battle against cancer got a pleasant surprise on Thursday.

Marla Barrett is a third grade teacher at Lonsdale Elementary School in Lincoln. She’s been fighting cancer for years, but she doesn’t let it get her down. Her courage even got attention from former New England Patriot Joe Andruzzi.

The three-time Super Bowl champion and cancer survivor made a surprise visit to the school, just to see Marla. She’s a longtime Patriots fan and had no idea her co-workers had been planning this special surprise.

“I’ve always had a positive attitude. We have to live each day to the fullest, like Joe just said, and enjoy every minute of life,” said Marla.

Andruzzi said Marla is a pillar strength in the face of adversity.

“It’s not only helping her, but others around her, keeping that positive attitude,” he said.

Andruzzi has a foundation that gives financial support to cancer patients, such as paying for their rent and utilities. He said Marla embodies the philosophy of that group.


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