In 2003 her doctors found a cancerous brain tumor, estimating that she had a year and a half to live. Sallie Nangeroni wanted the best neurosurgeon in the region. She came to HUP. Sallie was rightfully scared. Her father died of brain cancer when he was just 40 years old, and her husband's brother had just passed away from a brain tumor. At the time she was diagnosed, Sallie just hoped that she would be able to see all three of her sons graduate from high school. Now, 7 years later, she has seen two of them graduate from college, with one now in medical school. Her next goal is to see her youngest son graduate from college next year.
One of Sallie's passions is writing. Since she retired from teaching, she has watched her three sons and many former students go through the stress of the college admissions process. She recently wrote a book for high school students using creative thinking to help them find colleges that fit. Sallie continues to travel from Doylestown to Penn's Abramson Cancer Center for her regular check-ups. When she reflects on her experience, she says, "Cancer has made me more realistic, more stubborn, and more compassionate. It's also taught me that laughter is a good thing. Having a sense of humor puts problems in life into perspective."