Clifford’s active road to recovery

Breast cancer is a disease which has affected more than just the women portrayed in the “Race for the Cure” commercials. It is a real, tangible illness that has the ability to create voids in families due to the loss of a loved one. It has the ability to cause pain in the hearts of friends as a result of the passing of a comrade. It has the ability to be the foundation for the masses to work together for one common cause.

Ms. Grace Clifford is one of the school’s most beloved teachers. Though she has been diagnosed with a detrimental condition, it does not keep her from being an optimistic person and a positive influence in her classroom.

“One thing that she has always done well is keeping a great attitude and keeping the classroom in order,” said junior Rachel O’Gorman.

However, during Ms. Clifford’s absence in the first quarter, the students had a difficult time coping with the substitute.

“Sometimes she would grade harshly, and other times not at all,” said junior Meghan Shurtz. “At one point, I didn’t even have a grade in the class. We all really missed Ms. Clifford.”

Although now she is back, students are making efforts to support her in any way they can. They are assisting her with classroom tasks and helping her push her cart around the building.

“People are bringing me dinner, cleaning my house and simply doing anything I need,” said Ms. Clifford. “When I went to New Orleans over the summer, I was getting hugs and wished good luck everywhere I went! It is just eye-opening to see how many people breast cancer truly affects. But honestly, I feel like I kicked it in the butt.””

Students who have known her for their entire high school career are supportive now and have high hopes for the upcoming students.

“I feel that if high school students can keep up the help and keep raising awareness, there is a lot of hope that good things can happen in the future,” said senior Amanda Leonard.