Students rally together for teacher diagnosed with cancer


Photo Athena Crews

Timothy Chang (’18) holds a bag full of paper notes that students have written to DiFederico.

Ashlea Daniels, Staff Writer

Update 8:47 a.m., Dec. 6 : For information about how donate to DiFederico, please click here.

On Monday, Nov. 28, there was a sea of pink to be seen at Robinson High School. Junior IB English teacher Susan DiFederico received a breast cancer diagnosis during the Thanksgiving break. While students only found out the night before, many rallied together. A mass text was sent around throughout the night, telling students to wear pink the next day to show their support. Although DiFederico wasn’t there to see it, the impact was felt school-wide by her colleagues and students.

“I really, really like how many people got together to support her,” Stephanie Grecsek (’18), a student of DiFederico’s, said. “I wasn’t expecting so many people to wear pink and I’m really glad everyone rallied around her.”

DiFederico’s students have gotten together over the last few days to think of ways to support DiFederico during her time away. Cards have been made, letters have been written, paintings have been completed and videos are being recorded to eventually send to her.

“I love the idea of the notes and the cards because I think that, more than meals that people are gonna cook or gifts that people are gonna buy,” said Brian Hoover, Assistant Principal for Magnet Curriculum. “I think the messages from students are going to mean so much to her.”

Although DiFederico may be only an Junior IB English teacher, her temporary departure has been felt throughout the entire Robinson community.

“Because Mrs. DiFed is the type of person that she is and she’s so caring and that she means so much to so many of us, everyone wants to do something,” Hoover said. “Students have come up [with ideas], the faculty is kind of rallying around trying to come up with some ways to support her, parents are emailing and calling [too].”

While some have already started, students and faculty are continuously coming up with new ways to support DiFederico during this time of need.

“It’s really overwhelming just to see how much everyone wants to do,” Hoover said. “Right now everyone’s trying to target all the love that they have for her and [figure out] what we can do that’s gonna be meaningful.”