The El Paso teacher who became a national sensation in 2018 for a video she posted of children hugging and high-fiving has died due to COVID-19 related complications.
According to a report by KFOR, Zelene Blancas died Monday after a two-month battle with coronavirus.
She was 35 years old.
Blancas, a first grade dual language teacher at Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary, recorded a video in 2018 of her students using a “good morning or goodbye” menu to give each other high-fives, hugs, fist-bumps, and handshakes, KFOR reported.
According to KFOR, almost all of the students chose to embrace one another, and the touching video of their hugs went viral, garnering tens of thousands of likes on Twitter.
Blancas first became ill in October and was hospitalized soon after, KFOR reported.
Nick Adkins, founder of Pinksocks Life, told KFOR that Blancas spent nine weeks in the ICU before her death on Monday.
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A GoFundMe account, which was initially created to assist Blancas' family with medical expenses, went viral among the Pinksocks Life community, a group of people who aim to spread kindness, compassion and empathy through gifting pink socks with mustaches on them, KFOR reported.
According to KFOR, Blancas was a member of Pinksocks Life and, with Adkins’ help, gifted hundreds of pink socks to students at Sue Shook Elementary.