Gwinnett County

Gwinnett elementary school comes together to help 5th grader battling brain cancer

LILBURN, Ga. — A Gwinnett County elementary school came together as a family Thursday to help one of their own.

Fifth grader Genesis Garcia,10, was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen was at Hopkins Elementary in Lilburn where a teacher and fellow student gave the little girl quite the heartfelt gift with cutting their own hair and making a wig for Genesis.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Shan Hicks has gotten a haircut or two in her time, but never one at school.

“No! This is the first time,” Shan said. The instructional coach at Hopkins Elementary in Lilburn says it’s not a hair thing. It’s a heart thing.

“It’s all for you,” Shan said. “She has the smile that can light up a room.”

Genesis had surgery and is undergoing chemotherapy, and much of her hair has fallen out.

Shan and second grader Sophia had some of their hair cut off so a wig can be made for Genesis. She was watching from home via her laptop.


“We love you Genesis,” one teacher told her.

“We’re praying for you Genesis,” Principal Gabriel Zaragoza said. The principal says this school is one big family. “We really care for one another. Not only in good times but in the tough times.”

Genesis’ mother was by her daughter’s bedside. She thanked all at the school for their love and support. Teachers have made T-shirts to help raise money for the Garcia family. There’s printing on them that reads ‘Joy for Genesis.’ Her fight is our fight.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Shan says there’s nothing they all wouldn’t do for such a special little girl.

“We love you forever and after! You like my short hair now?” Shan asked.

Teachers also set up a GoFundMe to help the Garcia family with the medical bills and living expenses.