East Greenbush teacher keeps spirits high after breast cancer diagnosis
Much of the focus during the month of October is on how much money is raised for breast cancer research, treatment and support.
However, the individual stories of survivors and thrivers often shine a light on the importance of getting screened and sometimes, being your own biggest advocate.
One of them is Leia Nardacci. The 1st grade teacher in East Greenbush was living out her dream. There was nothing that could take her out of the classroom or away from the kids – or so she thought.
Nardacci noticed something wasn’t right late last year. She had a history of cysts, but a new lump made her think twice and then a call to her doctor. The problem – she wasn’t yet 40 years old – so a mammogram wasn’t easy to get. That sent Nardacci into full self-advocacy mode.
At only 39 years old, while sitting in a Starbucks parking lot, Nardacci heard three words over the phone she’ll never forget – “it is cancer.”
It was Stage 2B breast cancer. Nardacci was told surgery and chemo was the best foot forward.
Nardacci didn’t look like herself, and she certainly didn’t feel like herself. She was undergoing the aggressive form of chemotherapy known in cancer circles as “the red devil.”
However, the same way she knew it was near impossible to keep her out of the classroom, she knew not even chemo could stop her from being her active, energetic self.
Learn about how she’s trying to keep it up by watching the video of Chris Onorato’s story.