Since September, Jo Ann Nahirny, a teacher at Matanzas High School, has been battling cancer–the recurrence of a tumor she removed once before, in 2006. Nahirny prowess and energy, her sharp wit–and tongue–make every class akin to a performance, with results to boot: her Advanced Placement students are among the district’s top performers. Nahirny, the Teacher’s Trenches columnist at FlaglerLive, has been chronicling her battle with cancer in a series of recent columns, written almost within reach of the exam and operating tables. Today we publish her last such column, where she describes her last hurdles before being given a clean bill of health, and cleared to work again. (See the archives here).
Mrs. Nahirny, as she is universally known, has decided to return to work almost a month early, on Dec. 10. She is returning healthier, but poorer.
Many people battle cancer and other illnesses. Many people are saddled with heavy bills. We could run appeals for help every day. We don’t. But far fewer people reach and influence the lives of hundreds of Flagler County’s students, for the better. Teachers do so every day. Their health is a lifeline to the county’s future, and therefore a county trust: it is only proper and urgent that when a teacher is in need, including financial need, the community should respond.
A fund-raiser is being organized by the Flagler County Educators Association and the Matanzas High School Student Government Association on Mr.s Nahirny’s behalf Friday, Dec. 7, at Matanzas High School, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., and we are happy and honored to publicize it here. Your participation or contributions are heartily requested.
Friday morning, Nahirny sent in the following note:
“I am extremely grateful for all the prayers, emails, cards and words of support I have received from my students, colleagues and supervisors at Matanzas and throughout the Flagler district. They are all very much part of my family! Their caring and concern is heartfelt and awe-inspiring. I’m convinced I’ve made such a speedy recovery because of this loving outpouring of support. Mike and I have always been diligent savers throughout our lives, and we have paid our medical bills already because of that, out of the savings we put away for a ‘rainy day.’ When I found out about this event, I was floored –and I immediately informed organizers back on November 25 that in the spirit of holiday giving, and in gratitude for all the kindnesses that have been extended to us, that Mike and I would be donating the proceeds of the ‘Journey for Nahirny’ to the American Cancer Society, its Hope Lodge in Gainesville where we stayed for my radiation treatments, and to Shands Hospital. I am grateful to all these organizations for what they have done to help me recover, and we want to ‘give back’ to them in this way during this holiday season. So that is what we plan to do with any funds raised during this event.”
Leave a Reply