From cancer patient to student teacher at Banner UMC - Tucson News Now

From cancer patient to student teacher at Banner UMC

Student teacher PJ Quinn helps Jonas from falling behind in his schoolwork while he's being treated at the hospital. (Source: KOLD News 13) Student teacher PJ Quinn helps Jonas from falling behind in his schoolwork while he's being treated at the hospital. (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

PJ Quinn just needs to finish his student teaching to graduate from Northern Arizona University.

He could have wrapped up the requirement months ago, but cancer treatments pulled him away twice over two semesters.

During his most recent stay at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, the staff offered him an opportunity to complete his student teaching in a place familiar to him - the hospital.

Patients at Diamond Children's at Banner UMC who need to keep up with their schoolwork turn to Quinn for tutoring.

"There's beeps and wires and cords and sick people everywhere," he said. "And then you come in here and it's like a little bit of an escape."

The classroom has a table and chairs, plenty of books, games and any other activity that a student may want outside of a traditional school.

"I like to play games with them ... keep their minds rolling," Quinn said. "You know when they're in the hospital, they don't mind doing homework but if they can have fun while they're here, it's something I like to take advantage of."

His student on Tuesday, Nov. 21 is Jonas, a 10 year old with the same diagnosis as Quinn. Jonas is a big fan of the Oakland Raiders. Quinn is all about the Philadelphia Eagles. In between lessons, the two like to talk about football.

More importantly, Quinn lets Jonas know what to expect from his treatment. First Jonas needed surgery on his knee, just like Quinn. Then it was his lung, just like Quinn.

"I talk to PJ about it, but not my friends," Jonas said.

"This is the hardest thing he's probably ever going to go through," Quinn said. "He's always got a smile on his face. It's crazy, blows my mind every time."

Quinn graduates in a couple weeks. Jonas will need more time to recuperate, but he's eager to join his friends in the 5th grade next school year.

The two hope to watch the Eagles-Raiders game on Christmas Day.

MOBILE USERS: Download the Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • HealthHealthMore>>

  • McCain, Cochran have health issues ahead of key tax vote

    McCain, Cochran have health issues ahead of key tax vote

    Thursday, December 14 2017 2:57 PM EST2017-12-14 19:57:54 GMT
    Friday, December 15 2017 9:28 AM EST2017-12-15 14:28:06 GMT
    McCain (Source: AP Photo/Cliff Owen)McCain (Source: AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    Republican leaders in the Senate are keeping a close eye on the health conditions of two senior members -- John McCain of Arizona and Thad Cochran of Mississippi -- ahead of a crucial vote on the GOP tax plan next week.

    Republican leaders in the Senate are keeping a close eye on the health conditions of two senior members -- John McCain of Arizona and Thad Cochran of Mississippi -- ahead of a crucial vote on the GOP tax plan next week.

  • John McCain described as increasingly frail, Senate sources say

    John McCain described as increasingly frail, Senate sources say

    Thursday, December 14 2017 5:07 PM EST2017-12-14 22:07:17 GMT
    Friday, December 15 2017 3:48 AM EST2017-12-15 08:48:21 GMT

    Sources in the Senate tell CNN they have been worried about Sen. John McCain recently, following a week when the Arizona Republican was kept from the Senate to address side effects from his brain cancer treatment. 

    Sources in the Senate tell CNN they have been worried about Sen. John McCain recently, following a week when the Arizona Republican was kept from the Senate to address side effects from his brain cancer treatment. 

  • breaking

    Officials warn dog owners about rabid skunk

    Officials warn dog owners about rabid skunk

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 4:51 PM EST2017-12-13 21:51:11 GMT
    (Source: Google Maps)(Source: Google Maps)

    Anyone who suspects their pet may have had contact with the dead skunk or visited Jesse Owens Park on Dec. 9 should consult their veterinarian.

    Anyone who suspects their pet may have had contact with the dead skunk or visited Jesse Owens Park on Dec. 9 should consult their veterinarian.

Powered by Frankly