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Daughter helps grant sick mother's wish

Rochester, N.Y. - No reminders needed of the toll that cancer can take. But sometimes, the disease reminds us how fragile life can be, and that small moments can often times be magical moments.

Case in point: the Wilmot Cancer Center in Rochester Saturday afternoon.

Denise Szafran, diagnosed with cancer, has been told by doctors that her condition is getting worse.

That's why her daughter Christine wanted to have her graduation from Buffalo State early - so her mother could be there by her side.

The school's dean, along with doctors and nurses, helped make that a reality Saturday.

The fullfilled wish was also well-kept secret - until the last possible minute, of course.

"They finally told me, what, yesterday?" laughed Denise Szafran. "I think I've been smiling ever since, actually. This is wonderful. A real gift for me."

"I don't even know what my first thought was," said her daughter Christine, when asked about when she found out about an early graduation ceremony. "She said that this was her one wish and to be able to give that to her 800 things went through my head all at the same time."

"This is the best gift I could have gotten," said Denise.

Christine will be Denise's second daughter to earn a Master's degree. She wants to teach math after she officially graduates, and hopes to be in the classroom this fall.



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Washington Times