It has been 15 years since Sister Grazyna Michniewicz, Sister of Charity of Halifax, told her Monsignor Farrell high school boys on Staten Island about her battle with breast cancer, and she’s still amazed by the response she got that day, and everything that has happened since.
She had gone through chemotherapy and radiation, and since she hadn’t missed a day of school the whole time, it was easy to keep the news to herself for awhile. At the end of the school year though, she took her students in theology and psychology to the school’s chapel and told them about her experience.
“I said to every classroom, ‘How many of you know somebody with breast cancer?’ I was shocked,” said Sister Grazyna. “So many hands went up. The boys’ hands flew up. And I took them in chapel to do this, in a nice setting.
“And I said, ‘OK, well how many of you are afraid for your loved one that has it?’ Hands went up. I said, ‘OK, I’m going to tell you something. I just beat breast cancer.’ Not to be afraid.
“Then I said, ‘We can do something about this.”