KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — A local choir director battling breast cancer is finding out she's not alone in this fight.
These last two-and-a-half weeks have been a whirlwind for Carol Earnhardt since doctors found a lump in her left breast.
"I just feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. I'm not me, and these kids have been a blessing," Earnhardt said.
Earnhardt's students at Glenn High School in Kernersville are showing their support with their voices.
"We said we are going to get through this together and we are going to fight together," said Brandt Bendel, a choir student at Glenn High School.
"When she told us the news, you know she means so much to all of us obviously, she's like a second mom to everybody, so it kind of hit hard, but we were like 'we all need to get this concert going,'" said Daniel Martin, a choir student at Glenn High School.
The choir's fall concert was in jeopardy while Earnhardt finished undergoing more tests, but her students knew the show must go on. This time with a special purpose.
Students used the concert to raise more than $1,000 for Earnhardt.
They performed in shirts with "Earn the Strength."
"A lot of times people ask me, 'How can you teach high school? I could never teach high school.' This is why. You see the best of the best and have faith that this world, we don't really have anything to worry about. These kids have huge hearts they are very empathetic, they are very loving, and we got it going on here at Glenn High School," Earnhardt said.
Earnhardt says it was important for her to be open with her students. She'll have to miss a few months for surgery and treatment, but the entire time she'll be wishing she was in the classroom.
"I wanted them to know this is not me slacking off and being a bad teacher, this is I need to think about me right now, but also I love you and the only place that I would rather be... the one place I would love to be is in this classroom. It's where I'm happiest, it's where I am who I am," Earnhardt said.
Most importantly, she knows and her students know, she'll be back.
"I'm going to survive this. The Mrs. Earnhardt that I was will change a little because I appreciate my students, my family, my God, my life even more because of this experience and I will be back and I will be directing their choir again," Earnhardt said.
Earnhardt did receive some good news from her doctors this week. The cancer has not spread to her right breast.