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Holy Name School supports principal through battle

AU SABLE FORKS The primary mission of Holy Name School is to teach children to live and love in the Catholic faith and students recently displayed how well theyve learned that lesson. When Principal Jean Pulsifer was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, students, staff and the church family reached out to support her including two students who made a special contribution in her honor. Pulsifer was diagnosed with stage three inflammatory breast cancer in July 2006. In August 2006, fourth grader Jeanna Manning had 12 inches of her waist-length hair cut to be donated to Locks of Love, a program which makes wigs for children affected by cancer. Manning had the hair braided and dropped it off to Pulsifer at the school to show her support. She was going through something hard, and I was worried about her, said Manning. Pulsifer said the donation made her cry, since it came right after her hair had fallen out due to the chemotherapy. This February during Catholic Schools Week, Mannings classmate Emily Maicus followed her example, cutting of 10 inches of her hair for Locks of Love. I know there are kids and grown ups that need hair, and I wanted to help out, said Maicus. Id been thinking about it, and I finally did it. Pulsifer said she was scared when she found out she had cancer, since her mother had it. Pulsifer underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and six weeks of radiation. She kept the school up to date on her condition, holding science lessons about what she was undergoing. There were going to be so many physical changes, from losing hair to having days where I was too sick to come in. I had to have the kids prepared, said Pulsifer. Pulsifer said people had been absolutely wonderful, with teachers and parents volunteering to help out while she was ill. They also reached out with their faith, including her in their prayers and holding a prayer ceremony before she underwent surgery. During Catholic Schools week, the students raised $700 to donate to The FitzPatrick Cancer Center, where Pulsifer underwent treatment. On Feb. 16, Pulsifer was pronounced cancer free. Its really cool that shes healthy again and still with us, said Maicus. Pulsifer maintains regular check-ups to monitor her health. She is thankful for all the support she has received to help her through her ordeal. Holy Name School is a private Catholic elementary school located in Au Sable Forks. Pulsifer became principal about four years ago. She taught at the school for seven years during the 1990s. For me, its reaffirmed the reason I came back, said Pulsifer. This is where I was meant to be. Pulsifer added that St. Alexanders Catholic Church in Morrisonville, where she lives, also supported her, along with her family. The love she was shown helped her in her fight against cancer. When youre surrounded by people who love you, anythings possible, said Pulsifer.

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