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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Source:  Fox News

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:24 PM

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LIFE: Lonsdale Community of Knoxville Celebrates "Zae" Day To Celebrate Zaevion Dobson's Life, Sacrifice, Courage

The smallest of children carried the courage of number 24 on their backs Wednesday in celebration of Zaevion Dobson's life and sacrifice.

"They do know him, and everyone in my class definitely knows him," said Jennifer McVay, Zaevion Dobson's third and fourth grade teacher.

Lonsdale educators reminded themselves and their students that they, too, were brave, during the celebration of Zaevion Dobson Day at school Wednesday.

"You don't have to do something as extreme as Zaevion did, which was an extreme act of courage," McVay said. "You have courage in your everyday life."

Wednesday's festivities were based on a celebration of life, and it was
a time for teacher Julie Lowe to reflect on how much she's still learning from one of her former gym class students.

"Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid, courage means you don't let fear stop you," Lowe said.

Lowe said she's used Zae's strength to tell her own story.

"My tumors are aggressive," Lowe said. "The largest one is headed to my left eye, and if we had not found it, by the grace of God, it would've taken my vision."

Lowe said she used Zae's spirit to overcome her own tragedy and to help the little ones she teachers tap into their own potential.

"I was being courageous when I protected one of my friends," one Lonsdale Elementary Student said while giving a speech during the Zae Day program. "Another way I was being courageous was when I had a boxing tournament; it took courage to step in the ring."

Teachers said the greatest lessons come from kids, like Zae, who are fearless.

"Our kids have courage all the time," McVay said.

The lessons also come from teachers, who said they are still learning to work through the things that they fear.

"Courage means you don't let fear stop you," Lowe said.