RETIRED SIU CARBONDALE EDUCATOR HONORED AS CANCER STAR SURVIVOR OF THE YEAR
The McGlynn: That’s my “sister”! That’s our gal! GO SHIRLEY!!
(MARION, IL) The Southern Illinois Healthcare Cancer Institute honored Shirley J. McGlinn of Carbondale as the Cancer Star Survivor of the Year during ceremonies at Marion’s Rent One Park in recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day. McGlinn threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Southern Illinois Miners game on Friday, June 3, during the Institute’s fifth annual celebration, where regional cancer survivors, alongside friends and family, picnicked and celebrated life.
Colleagues in the MEDPREP (Medical/Dental Education Preparatory Program) program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Carbondale nominated McGlinn, where she worked several years as a biological sciences instructor. Now retired, McGlinn continues to teach part-time, despite her breast cancer diagnosis.
“As an educator, once her condition was diagnosed, she thoroughly researched all aspects of the treatment and prognosis…with this information she armed herself with the ability to explain and discuss the situation. She provided a living example to students and those of us who worked with her of how knowledge helps one deal with the uncertainty of life circumstances,” wrote Dr. Harold R. Bardo, Director of the MEDPREP program.
Upon her diagnosis in September 2010, McGlinn did not immediately tell her students amid fears of the additional burden it might place on them.
“As she was awaiting the results of her medical tests …she continued to teach despite her circumstances. Her concern was for the students and not wanting to add stress to their already heavy load. Once her diagnosis was confirmed, she delayed sharing her diagnosis with the students until her teaching component was complete. Her reasoning: …for the students’ sake, I just want to be able to give them what they deserve from a teacher,” wrote Glenda Sullivan, Secretary to the Director, MEDPREP, SIU School of Medicine, Carbondale.
Her colleagues say McGlinn completed her teaching and other duties, rarely missing functions.
“…I was a basket case and could hardly bear the thought of losing such a gifted and valued friend. It was Shirley who remained strong and patient—teaching me what it means to value life and those we touch daily. In seeing her response to this monster she is fighting, she has taught me what is important and how I can help others,” wrote Kathleen Jones, MEDPREP instructor.
In this year’s Cancer Star Survivor selection process, the SIH Cancer Institute’s Jennifer Badiu said McGlinn clearly serves as an inspiration to all who know her. “As Dr. Bardo pointed out in his nomination, McGlinn impressed upon her students and peers that, despite the circumstances, one must continue to live and celebrate life.”
Photo caption: The 2011 SIH Star Survivor, Shirley McGlinn, throws out the ceremonial first pitch at a recent Southern Illinois Miners baseball game as part of the SIH Cancer Institute’s celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day.