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Students helping beloved substitute teacher get brand new wheelchair

Mr. Janke at Kelso High School (KATU News photo)

A Kelso High School teacher sprung into action when a beloved colleague's wheelchair needed replacing.

Teacher Rick Davis created a GoFundMe to help buy John Janke a new motorized wheelchair. The page has already raised more than $22,000 toward that goal. Davis is now hoping to reach $30,000, and extra funds will be used for wheelchair maintenance.

"He's touched a lot of lives. He comes in and does a great job. People respect him for the job he does, not for how he looks, not for how he walks, but for who he is. It's pretty cool," Davis said.

Janke, who has cerebral palsy, has worked as a substitute teacher for nearly three decades. He uses his motorized wheeler to get to and from school every day.

"Rain or shine Mr. Janke has been a part of Kelso classrooms for years. His presence has touched the lives of countless students/staff and now it's time to show our appreciation," the GoFundMe reads.

Janke can't believe how much support he is getting.

"Overwhelming. I'm very humbled by the fact that they remember a substitute because usually kids hate subs, but fortunately, they enjoy me," Janke said.

If you'd like to help, click here.


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