The story of Nicole Conlisk, a math teacher in a school in the Bronx, is truly inspirational. As a Math teacher, Nicole is one of a kind. The students just love her. Math is generally considered a difficult subject. Most students tend to shift to the corner and hide when they face numbers. But Nicole Conlisk made Mathematics easy for the students. They just love Nicole and have even grown to love the subject. Nicole just shows that no student is difficult to deal with. You just need to have the passion to teach and teach the right way so that even a subject like Mathematics becomes easy for them.

However, this story is not about Nicole’s teaching skills.

Rather, it is about how Nicole, even after being afflicted with cancer, kept going and gave birth to two beautiful kids. This story is also about how Nicole and the love of her students rewarded her with a wonderful cruise trip. There is nothing better than a teacher receiving gifts out of the love of her students. It became a special thing for Nicole.

breast cancer teacher

Nicole is a young woman at 33 years old. When she learned that she was pregnant, she became ecstatic at the news. She learned that she was pregnant with twin girls. It was one of the best news for Nicole. She was ready to take a small break from the school job during her pregnancy and return with the happy news and spread it all over the school – to both students and teachers.

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But then, another news struck her and it completely shocked her down to her very core. Nicole was diagnosed with cancer – Stage 3 breast cancer. It was a piece of difficult news to gulp down. She was still 7 months pregnant. It was such a shock to her. She recalled that last October, a Breast Cancer Awareness Day was organized in her school. She had teared up after hearing some heartfelt stories of breast cancer survivors. But she never knew that she would become one of them.

However, Nicole stayed strong. She knew that she had to – for her family, for her son, Jason, and for the unborn twins. When her husband, Jason, heard the tragic news, he came down from his workplace and tried to comfort his wife. He is a fireman in New York. But Nicole was brave enough and told him not to worry about her. That everything was going to be okay. Seeing her in this state gave all the necessary courage required by a man with a cancer-afflicted wife.

Two months later, she gave birth to Jordyn and Peyton. They were really cute and the best thing about the new members was – they became perfect playmates for their big brother, Jason. Jason loves to rub their heads and interact with them.

But the grim news kept a shadowy effect all around the room. The cancer was still there and needed to be treated. Nicole entered into chemotherapy. She had to quit her job as she had to stay back home. The chemo was starting to affect her health and soon enough, the school teacher was feeling the torments of breast cancer and the strong medications. However, she had comfort for herself – her students. They never forgot to check up on Nicole. They were always texting her or emailing her. Will she never come back? When will she come back? Will she be there when the year ends? These messages kept Nicole strong. She knew that whatever be the stage of her breast cancer, she had to fight it. Breast cancer cannot win. Not if she wanted to keep the promise and the love of these wonderful students.

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Nicole became an inspiration for not only her students but also several teachers all over America. Her fight against cancer as well as her difficult birth process became known through the internet. A teacher was so inspired by Nicole that she gave in Nicole’s name in a contest with the final prize being a trip down a Norwegian Cruise Line. Teachers from the US and Canada were allowed to sign up for it. When the teacher inputted Nicole’s credentials and her story, Nicole was quite surprised. However, she was hopeful that she would win this trip. She needed the time to escape.

breast cancer teacher

Cancer had a way of bringing depression in the household. Even though Nicole tried to keep the spirits of the house high, the breast cancer story remained to pull all of them down. At the end of the story was a scary thought. Nicole knew that she had to get away for a while to feel re-energized and lively. Because even before cancer can affect her completely, she was dying inside. This cruise could be her access to this state of paradise.

And as luck would have it – Nicole did get a shot at her planned paradise. She got the first place and therefore, the grand prize. Not only did it comprise the cruise but it also gave $100,000 to her for her school. The winner was chosen by public vote but they were so moved by Nicole’s story that the sponsors of the contest donated more and increased the final sum to $100,000 from $25,000.

Nicole became extremely happy and started planning what to do on the trip. However, she is still on chemotherapy and strong medications. Hopefully, her breast cancer will go into remission.

Credit: Jason Conlisk