High school sweethearts Kate and Derek Thomas have experienced a lot together: moving from Columbus to Lincoln for college, starting their careers, getting married and putting down roots, and bringing two boys into the world: Revere (Rev), 6, and Mazlow (Maz), 3. Unfortunately, they’ve also experienced the heartbreak and frustration of illness.
Kate, who’s been a special education teacher through Lincoln Public Schools for the past eight years, got very sick a couple of years ago and has been through numerous diagnoses before arriving at an inoperable liver disease. Her condition has left her unable to work as of late, and the family is patiently awaiting her eligibility for a liver transplant.
Allison Yardley, a third-grade teacher at Lakeview Elementary and Kate’s co-worker, nominated Kate and her family on behalf of all the teachers and staff at Lakeview. Kate has a special bond with her fellow co-workers and principal and is known for her knack for problem-solving and for providing the best educational opportunities for her students. Everyone at Lakeview can’t wait until Kate is healthy enough to return to work — and in the meantime, they’ve asked Union Bank to treat Kate and her family to a well-deserved Magic Moment.
Gifts for a busy young family
The Thomas family is typically very active and on-the-go. They enjoy playing volleyball and other sports in their backyard and love a good cookout on the grill. Kate’s energy-sapping condition has made it especially challenging to keep up with two young boys and their family pets, so UBT wishes her a speedy recovery.
In order to keep Kate as comfortable as possible both before and after her transplant, she will be treated to a variety of comfy clothing, slippers, and socks, as well as a weighted blanket from Scheels. To help pass the time during recovery, she received an iPad and accessories, and to help her de-stress and pamper, she’s being treated to a mani/pedi from Sunny Nails and a massage. Aiding Angels has agreed to provide housecleaning services to help with the Thomas’ day-to-day needs; additionally, Del Gould Meats will stock their freezer and meal prep services will be provided by Olivia Bond of Personal Prep. The family also received gift cards from HyVee for Christmas dinner and Walmart for all the trimmings. To help with transportation to and from appointments, both Super C and U-Stop provided gas gift cards.
The Thomas family will enjoy time together with annual memberships to Lincoln Children’s Museum and Lincoln Children’s Zoo, as well as passes to the YMCA. They’ll tap their creative side with a splatter paint activity at Mākit Tākit. At home, they can unwind with new Mario games for their Nintendo Switch. They’ll also be suite-level guests at the Pinnacle Bank Arena for the Harlem Globetrotters in February.
When time allows, Kate and Derek can enjoy a night out in the Haymarket with gift cards to Lazlo’s and an escape room challenge at Escape Lincoln. And finally, each family member was treated to a pair of red Converse All-Stars, so be on the lookout for that family with the matching shoes.
Kate is a very special part of the LPS family and is well-known for her selfless demeanor, so we’re hoping she and the rest of the Thomas family are able to enjoy some much-needed pampering this holiday season with their Magic Moment.
If you'd like to help offset the Thomas' medical costs, please consider donating to their GoFundMe® campaign here.