By Amanda Snyder
St. Bonaventure University President Sister Margaret Carney announced this week she’s battling cancer.
In an email to the St. Bonaventure community, she said she had recently been diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
The illness is “a cancer of the blood causing abnormal plasma cells to collect themselves in bones and the bone marrow,” President Carney wrote. She said she’s been undergoing tests at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo for the past several weeks, and will begin “an intensive course of drug therapy” this week. The treatment may last six months.
Hilbert College President Cynthia Zane shared President Carney’s letter via email with the Hilbert community on Wednesday.
Sister Margaret already announced last month she was stepping down as president of SBU. She said her diagnosis may slow her down but it is not going to keep her down. She said, “I will be able to continue to fulfill my role as long as I somewhat reduce my schedule. This will cause me to slow my 88 mph daily speed to a more respectable 55 mph!”
Sister Margaret is the 20th President of SBU and has held office since 2004. She has obtained master’s degree in theology and Franciscan Studies, with a doctorate in theology. She holds nine honorary doctorates, including one from Hilbert. St. Bonaventure and Hilbert are “sister schools” , sharing the same set of Franciscan Values. St. Bonaventure’s School of Graduate Studies holds classes on the Hilbert campus. The two schools discussed a merger in 2013, but the idea was eventually discarded.
President Carney concluded her announcement with the high hopes and a bright outlook on her future and faith. “It will come to no surprise to anyone that I intend to do everything possible to win this battle with cancer. I will also find in this many opportunities to ponder the fundamentals of the faith with which I was gifted in baptism.”
In an e-mail to the Hilbert community, Hilbert President Cynthia Zane asked everyone to “Keep Sister Margaret in your thoughts and prayers as she undergoes treatment.”