Community rallies in support of longtime Richmond High teacher battling cancer

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Online fundraiser launched for longtime Richmond High teacher battling cancer

The community is rallying in support of a beloved veteran teacher at Richmond High who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Zach Shrieve, who also coaches the Contra Costa College women’s volleyball team, went to the hospital for abdominal pain on Aug. 23 and was told four days later about his illness. On Sept. 28, doctors estimated he had two years to live.

“Zach, however, does not agree, and neither do his friends and family,” said Jim Whitty in an online fundraiser to help Shrieve with medical expenses. “We believe that if anyone is strong enough to beat this, that person is Zach.”

Shrieve, who has taught at Richmond High for more than 21 years, was described as “genuinely kind, funny, giving, caring, involved, loyal and dedicated,” and as someone who “puts others before himself.”

Some of his biggest fans are his students. One former student wrote into the fundraising page that she “always felt heard and supported” by Shrieve.

“Richmond High was lucky to have you because you were able to connect with students on a level that most teachers wouldn’t,” Eva Ruiz-Garibay added.

Another former student noted: “There was never a day where you failed to smile at me and crack a silly joke.”

“You are not alone and have a huge community of friends and family cheering you on to surpass this bump on the road,” Kimberly Palacios-Mora said.

As of Thursday morning, the YouCaring.com fundraiser set up for Shrieve had raised $25,309, with a goal to reach $50,000. The fundraiser will pay for both Kaiser Permanente medical care and alternative approaches.

“Now we can help Zach the way he has helped so many others throughout his entire life,” Whitty said. “We can help Zach with his medical expenses and together we can help Zach beat cancer. At the end of this story we want the score to be Zach 1 – Cancer 0.”

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