GREENSBORO, NC - An elementary school employee and her family got the chance to meet their idol during a taping of the Ellen show.
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Natalie Hopkins, a Burlington resident and Greensboro teacher, appeared on the Ellen show with her husband and two daughters. Natalie, a curriculum facilitator at Jones Elementary, went on the show to share her inspiring story.
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While doing some last minute Christmas shopping in 2016, Natalie received news that she had breast cancer. Over the next year, she received chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and will start radiation this week. Natalie credited Ellen and her family as the reason she was able to get through it all.
At first, Natalie and her husband wanted to keep her diagnosis a secret until they knew more, until one of their daughters came home with a question.
"One of her classmates lost a parent," Natalie said on the show. "So, we had to explain to them what was happening. So, we told them, yes this is what mommy has. They she asked if I was going to die."
Natalie's husband, Nathaniel added, "We told them we are going to cry this thing out and have one big self-pity party and then we are going to get up and fight this thing."
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And fight she did. To make up for what Ellen called a 'bad Christmas' for the family, Natalie and her family received $25,000 as a gift from Ellen during the show.
Ron Luciano, Jones Elementary Principal said the money could not have gone to a better person.
"She's a warrior. She never let fer feelings get her down. She stayed true to her school and she loved her kids," said Luciano.
Other current and former colleagues of Natalie's stepped up to help her and her family while she received treatment. They helped check in on her husband, took her daughters to hair appointments and made sure the family had home cooked meals from friends at least twice a week.
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