Faith's Mom

A Mom's battle with breast cancer from a Dad's perpective
Breast Cancer Ribbon


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* UPDATED article here *

I’d like to update you on surgery plans and a few other matters.

Preoperative testing will be on February 5th and Surgery on the morning of the 6th. Sue and I will be staying in the city at a hotel near the hospital since commuting into the city each day is not an option. Family will be at home with the kids. Two days and surgery seems like a walk in the park at this point in our lives but I will still be much more at ease when it is over and we are home. I will keep you updated each day as I can.

There are two additional stories about the “sick bank” effort at Susan’s school. While most comments are supportive some have vitriol and claims facts that are not accurate.

‘Unacceptable’ Sick Bank Deal Rejected By Teachers

Teachers Rally For Colleague With Cancer

To our visitors from the Mendham-ChesterPatch

I would like to thank all of those from the community and staff at the school who have helped our family over the past year. All of your prayers, well wishes and help has been truly appreciated by our whole family. Teachers & Staff have given money, cooked meals and offered any help they could. Without her colleagues an almost impossible situation would have been all the more difficult to bear.
Many have asked about or assumed facts that were not in the story so I would like to clear up some assumptions so you may review and revise your remarks.


  • My wife Susan is 1 of 2 nurses at West Morris Central High School, she has been a registered nurse since 1989. She is my wife of 21 years and mother of our four children.
  • Susan has been the grateful beneficiary of employment and it’s benefits at West Morris Central High School since 2008.
  • Our family has and will continue to have health insurance coverage through her job.
  • NJ Short Term Disability is NOT available to public school employees
  • NJEA offers a Short Term/Long Term disability plan to employees. The open enrollment period is very variable “Open Enrollment opportunities generally occur only once every three years” This year is the first opportunity we have had to purchase. The last period was before her hire date.
  • All disability plans have a waiting period and require complete/substantial disability before eligibility and use of all sick and personal time first. She would not qualify for disability because of the intermittent nature of chemotherapy.
  • My wife did not ask for the Sick Bank, it was asked for by her colleagues. The school district had “banked” days for other employees that encountered catastrophic health events in the past with district support.
  • Some have suggested that she simply did not prepare or wishes something for nothing:
    • Since the beginning of school, Susan has completed 6 cycles (18 weeks total) of TAC chemotherapy, she has taken a total of 21 days off since the beginning of the school year.
    • In March of 2012 our 8 year old daughter was hospitalized for 70 days in the PICU of the Children’s Hospital of New York until her death on May 20, 2012. During that time both my wife and I were with her, someone was at her side 24/7 until and including her death. Faith’s Story
    • Susan used all unused sick, personal and NJ Family Leave during that time along with unpaid leave.
    • After our daughter’s funeral and 5 days bereavement leave my wife returned to her job caring for your children on May 29, 2012 and completed the school year.
    • Two months after she received a diagnosis of advanced stage breast cancer.
    • If anyone is prepared for two such catastrophic events in their lifetime let alone both in a 6 month period God bless you.

I have not commented on any of the stories on the Patch.  I am not a member of your community nor a taxpayer in your district. I believe it should only reflect the beliefs and opinions of the people who live there.  If you would like more information or to discuss this further feel free to contact me. My email address is

Thank you for taking the time to visit.

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