Last March, I was given the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Obenski, a member of Radnor High School’s staff, who suffered from colon cancer. The objective of my interview with her, “Colon Cancer Awareness Month: Sharing Mrs. Obenski’s Story,” was to better understand colon cancer and to promote awareness in honor of colon cancer awareness month; little did I know that I would get to meet one of the most caring and approachable women in my life. Just seconds into our discussion, it was evident how much Mrs. Obenski cared about her students. She couldn’t help but make me feel comfortable in her presence, laughing and smiling while carefully answering my questions. She described the overwhelming support from her family and friends throughout her life and mentioned the challenges that she faced every day. As our conversation progressed, our connection got deeper and deeper. Downplaying her disadvantages, Obenski demonstrated an incredibly grateful attitude towards her unfavorable situation. She ended our discussion by urging people to donate and get involved with colon cancer research, expressing her hope for a colon-cancer free future.
As we concluded, I found myself inspired by this woman who could have been at home healing but went to work anyway to help her students. From then on out, whenever I passed her in the hallways or saw her at her desk in the library, she never hesitated to say hello and ask me how I was doing. No matter the situation, she always had a big smile on her face. I often observed a cluster of students sitting around her desk during their free periods, just talking. She brought a simple joy to everyone around her, and we cannot thank her enough for doing so. On November 13, 2019, Mrs. Obenki passed away. The news was crushing. Mrs. Obenski provided Radnor with so much support, and she did not deserve to go so soon. I am incredibly grateful to have gotten to know her, and I know I am not alone in feeling this.
Seniors Molly and Nicole Crawford conveyed, “Mrs. Obenski was a true inspiration. She did not have one bad bone in her body. Even on her worst days she continued to push and help every person in need. She was always there if you ever needed her, and would do anything for anybody. Mrs. Obenski fought and fought for three years, but unfortunately lost her battle. She will always be in our hearts and guide over all of her students”
Junior, Morgan Usher noted,“I am grateful to have had Ms.Obenski as a teacher. Although she was paid to only teach me biology, she taught me how to be a great person, be understanding, and to fight and never give up. I will be forever thankful to have come in contact with such a beautiful person. I love you Mrs. O.”
Junior, Lilah Demmy stated, “Mrs. O was always so fun to be around. She always had a big smile on her face even on her worst days. She was a true inspiration to so many. I am grateful to have had her as a teacher.”
Junior, Aidan Glandzman added, “Up until she passed, Mrs. Obenski was more concerned about the people around her than herself. She was selfless and treated us like we were her own kids. I’ll never forget her, and I’m sure the same can be said for countless people whose lives she touched.”
Ultimately, Mrs. Obenski’s impact on the Radnor community will always be cherished. In her honor, I encourage everyone to look into donating, volunteering, or researching colon cancer. Thank you Mrs. Obenski for everything. Our appreciation for you is endless.