Family mourns loss of former Tomball teacher with adventurous spirit

Jessica Willey Image
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Students help dying Tomball teacher check off bucket list
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A teacher dying of cancer has been on the adventure of a lifetime, thanks to her students in Tomball.

TOMBALL, Texas (KTRK) -- A former Tomball teacher who went on a cross-country trip to check off her bucket list while battling cancer has died.

When we first met Michelle Wistrand last February, she was nearing her last year of teaching at Tomball Junior High School. She was also told by doctors that she had between two and five years to live.

Wistrand was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissue.

With very little time left, the teacher came up with a "bucket list" and told her 8th grade students, who raised $11,500 to help her accomplish her dreams.

Then, Wistrand went on an adventure.

Tomball students work to give teacher with cancer dream vacation

She not only saw the Redwood Forest and the Pacific Ocean, but also the sea turtles in Florida, her son on stage in Iowa, and the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Michigan that was in one of her favorite movies.

"Seeing everything God has created from one side, I'm going to cry," she paused. "One side of the U.S. to the other side of the U.S. is just phenomenal."

In February, her doctor recommended she move towards hospice care, but she remained ever brave.

"I have learned that people are kind and compassionate, and that Christ is my all," she said.

Wistrand took her final breath on Monday morning, surely looking forward to her next big adventure.

Her family said she will be buried this Saturday in a private ceremony.

You can see more from Wistrand's travels, which also included a road trip with her sister to Kansas, on her Instagram account: @WistrandBucketList.

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