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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)— Abilenian Bambi Blaydes is known to many as the director of a free homeschooling cooperative. When she’s not in the classroom, she cares for animals at Blaydes Animal Sanctuary on Barrow Street.

Since 2016, she has been combining her passions and volunteering to serve the community. She offers homeschooling for children of all ages in a variety of subjects, such as robotics, sewing, and arts and crafts, and even takes students on field trips. As for the animals, she provides medical care and helps find them homes.

However, on May 13, her life took a turn for the worse when she injured her back. In the emergency room, at age 44, she learned that she had terminal breast cancer, which had unfortunately spread to other parts of her body.

Now, the same community she knows and loves is standing together to help her. Alison Limon is a mom who also leads a homeschooling group. She met Blaydes after inquiring about her co-op. Her children have been attending the co-op since July 2023, and she has seen tremendous learning progress.

“Honestly, everywhere we’ve been, not many people have been considerate of special needs and stuff like that, and Bambi has always met my kids right where they are. She’s made sure she understands their learning process, includes them, and makes them feel like they’re just as important as anyone else, which has been great,” Limon explained.

She said Blaydes knew that homeschooled children across the country needed a space where they could interact with other children of all ages, and she was able to meet that need.

“She is very sweet, very kind and very understanding. I think the best way to describe her is as very positive and her studio is a safe haven in many ways,” Limon added.

Limon is one of many people coming together to raise money for Blaydes. She is hosting a pet and charity fundraiser to help rehome the dogs at her shelter so Blaydes can focus on her treatment and health.

Wendy Logan is the owner of Lads & Lassies, right next door to Blaydes’ shop. Over the years she has become friends with Blaydes because they both love animals.

“She’s very selfless and does a lot for the community, and she does it for free. So we just want to help with the shelter, we want to help with her medical costs, and most importantly, we want to get the animals adopted so she can focus on herself,” Logan said.

The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, June 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Lads and Lassies located at 2517 Barrow Street, Abilene, Texas 79603. Below are the puppies hoping for a new home this Saturday: