The family of an Upstate teacher has a lot to celebrate.

Kristen Gault, a 37-year-old mother and second grade teacher at Bells Crossing Elementary in Simpsonville, has been battling breast cancer. She completed her final chemo treatment Friday at the St. Francis Cancer Center.

After that final treatment she had a big celebration with family, friends and students. The celebration even included a visit from Santa Claus, who gave sleigh rides around the parking lot.

“Life is a gift,” said Gault. “It’s the biggest gift of all. I’m thankful I’m here and I can share with others they can do it too.”

Her world changed over the summer when she discovered a lump in her breast. She immediately called her OBGYN who got her in for a mammogram and biopsy.

“I was told on July 12 I have breast cancer. It’s the scariest news you ever hear,” Gault explained.

Dr Stephen Dyar , Gault's oncologist from Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, said, “Kristen was optimistic about everything. From the first visit, she knew she’d require chemotherapy to treat cancer but she was passionate about doing the right thing to treat the cancer and she’s been great with treatment ever since.”

Hugging her students and friends, Kristen says, “They bring such happiness to my life so I wanted them to be a part of it. Even though cancer is a scary thing, I wanted them to see I’m okay and I’m going to be okay.”

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