Undeterred by cancer, Margaret Nardecchia fulfills her calling as a nurse
December 13, 2016
Cancer affects every patient differently. But if you’re being treated by a nurse who has felt your pain, you’re in good hands.
Margaret Nardecchia, who graduates Thursday night with an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing, is one such caregiver.
Nardecchia worked as a medical assistant for years, but still dreamed of pursuing her lifelong goal of becoming a nurse -- a profession she refers to as a calling and a gift. With encouragement from her husband, Western Campus counselor and professor Dave Nardecchia, she enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College.
But as she worked her way through an exhausting first year, she noticed she couldn’t recover. No matter what she did, the exhaustion never went away – it only worsened. It wasn’t just the fatigue of a demanding schedule. Something else was wrong.
The symptoms finally drove her to see a doctor, where she received devastating news. In August 2014, she was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Just weeks before beginning her second year at Tri-C, she had to put her dream on hold. She withdrew from school.
Six months of treatment led to months of recovery, followed by more treatment and recovery from the side effects. But Nardecchia has never been one to let a setback or two deter her – not even cancer. The determined mother of a 27-year-old son in the Army and an eight-year-old daughter, and grandmother of two, Nardecchia was ready to resume her studies in August 2015.
She is grateful to those in the nursing program who were able to re-enroll her after her yearlong battle.
In addition to her husband, she credits her kids, parents, friends, community and strong Christian faith with helping give her the strength to keep going.
When she crosses the stage, she’s not only moving into a new phase of life, she’s also setting the example for a future healthcare professional – her daughter, who wants to become a nurse just like her mom.