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5-year-old builds “hug machine” to comfort teacher with cancer [Video]



  • Keri Stromski is a kindergarten teacher who loves her students so much and expresses it through hugs.
  • But the pandemic and her stage 4 cancer hindered her to be with her students again.
  • One of her students, with the help of his mom, created a “hug machine” so she can “hug everyone in the whole wide world!”

“Hugs are healing.”

This is how Keri Stromski values a warm embrace, especially in her difficult situation now.

Keri, a Riverhead School District teacher, has made hugs a commonplace in her classroom, while treating all her students like her own babies.

Photo Credit: Fox/YouTube

It’s too bad that the pandemic has stopped this little class tradition. What made it worse is that Keri is battling stage 4 breast cancer, making her more vulnerable to the coronavirus. This condition has created a wider distance between her and her students.

As soon as she started her chemotherapy and radiation sessions, Keri has begun teaching remotely, which certainly made her and her babies miss their usual classroom moments.

The kindergarten teacher was very honest when she informed her students’ families about her diagnosis and the thing that she wants the most especially in her isolation — hugs.

“That’s what she missed the most about being actually physically in school,” said Cathie Green, the mother of one of Keri’s students. “Mrs. Stromski loves our kids like they’re all her own. From day one, she told them every day that she loves them.”

Wanting to console the loving teacher, Cathie and her five-year-old son Avery thought of a way to give Keri the comfort she deserves, and came up with a unique idea: a “hug machine.”

So, the mother and son gathered some common household items, such as a shower curtain, trash bags, and a clothing rack on wheels, to execute their plan.


The two surprised Keri in front of her yard, with the hug machine they personally built themselves.

Keri was so delighted, as well as Avery who said that his teacher could now “hug everyone in the whole wide world!”

Despite what she has been going through, Keri felt so comforted by the personalized hug machine and the people behind it. She hopes to hold a “hug parade” once she gets better.

And we know that a caring person like her deserves a warm, loving embrace.

Source: Inspire More