Dayton community rallying for teacher battling cancer

Rene Bernard, a Dayton Intermediate School teacher fighting Stage IV colon cancer, is seen with her son, Alex.

Rene Bernard, a Dayton Intermediate School teacher fighting Stage IV colon cancer, is seen with her son, Alex.

Dayton and surrounding communities are being asked to pull together to send one of Dayton Intermediate School’s most beloved teachers to Mexico to receive cancer treatment.

This battle began in September 2013 and recently, Rene Bernard was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and needs to raise $28,000 for the three-week treatment and to pay off medical bills incurred at Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

Bernard, who has taught five years at DIS (science currently and formerly physical education and health) is too weak to face another round of chemotherapy, the only treatment available locally. The cure rate for the treatment in Mexico is 90 percent.

The single mother of a 22-year-old son, Alex, has determined “desperate times call for desperate measures,” and believes thanks to her profound faith, that it’s not yet time to go.

“She asked God to take her last night and woke up this morning, so the fight continues,” said Grace Jones, DIS school secretary.

DIS Theatre Department hosts a one-night benefit performance of “The Tempest, Kinda!” (in addition to this weekend’s performances, which are not benefit events) a humorous, rollicking Shakespeare parody Tuesday, May 19 at 6 p.m. at the school.

“For this show, tickets will be $10 rather than $5 and we will be selling refreshments and whatever else we can do to raise the money,” said Michele Crain, theater instructor and director. “Rene is iconic at our school, she is like an angel on foot and a kid whisperer who has taught me to pray, to have faith and to always fight for what is right and good, and she has given so much to so many. If we can just get her to Mexico, she’s got this because she is such a fighter,” Crain said. “This is her last stand, and we (school staff), her son and her sister are her family and with the community’s help, we can do this.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up and donations can be dropped off at DIS and of course, any donations above the ticket costs for Tuesday’s performance are welcomed.

If anyone would like to donate baked goods, those can be delivered to DIS as well.

“This is a teacher who students come back years later to visit and this is a woman who picks up homeless people at Smith’s brings them home, feeds them and lets them bath and does so without any thought for whether or not she may be in harm’s way doing so,”

Jones said. “I know if the community knows, that they will come through because I’ve seen them do it time and again.”

The account is or more information, call the school at 775-246-6250 or Grace at 775-772-6658.


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