Humans of St. Elizabeth – Chick Halloran

{Music} As a child I was not always this hot
looking OK? I have more or less come to my own maturity to look this amazing. I was
quiet very like a wallflower, nobody knew I existed. I was always Cheryl’s sister in
high school because she was a homecoming queen, she got a full ride athletic
scholarship but the roles have reversed. So now she’s my sister, she’s Chick’s
sister. The one thing mom would do was call us Chick growing up. When we
were little we were Chicklets and then as you age and go through puberty you drop
the “let” and you became a Chick. So we started calling each other Chick because it made us
feel like my mom was still there with us. And her passing, she took part of me with her,
and anybody knows me knows that case to be true. I told God I was ready to go be with
her because I couldn’t believe that He would take somebody from me that fast. I had a clean mammogram
in December 2000. We were moving into the home we’re in now
currently and I was lifting a box and the box hit one of my girls, I call them the girls, and
that felt a little different. So I was ready to go for my annual checkup. I asked the doctor to do an
exam and he confirmed that there was something there and recommended I have a diagnostic
mammogram. I went and had the lump removed and then the funny thing is is that I woke up from
anesthetic I knew something was wrong because my husband and I we had been married at the time
for I think it was 23 years and he doesn’t do PDA, Public Displays of Affection. So when I
come out of this anesthetic I’m looking at my sister’s at the edge of the bed and he’s
got my arm and he’s like stroking it. “I love you Cath, I love you Cath.” I’m like shazam I
already died because he’s confessing his love to me in front of an audience you
know it. Well it turned out I was still here but it turned out I did have breast
cancer and this is where the transformation took place. In that hospital
room my sister said to me, “Chick, this happened for a reason. I don’t know what
it is but we’re going to do something with this.” That was a turning point I’ll never
forget because it was that point in time that I made that vow to God if you give
me a second chance I will give you the glory, I will witness on your behalf and I will be a voice
for those who can’t talk, speak or I will help others. {Music} So one day when I was in the office
and then there was a young woman being diagnosed with breast cancer
and the nurse talking to her about it. She started crying and said, “If there’s just
somebody who’s gone through it I would love to talk to them.” Well I was like a
vulture on fresh meat. I’m like let me at her I know I can help I know I can help her.
So Terry asked me to walk out of the office and she said, “Chick do you feel like you could
talk to her? You know what your guidelines are. How do you feel about it?” And so
she sat in our conversation. So the next time somebody else got diagnosed
she asked if I would talk to them again. Here’s the deal, made up a scrapbook about
myself and I thought, you know what? If you want something you go after it because one thing breast
cancer’s taught me is that the word no does not hurt. So I went up to Mr. Gross’s office, he was the
CEO at the time of the hospital, unannounced. I didn’t make an appointment I just made this
scrapbook up, I walked right past Barb Krohman up there and I said, “Mr. Gross I am so sorry to bother
you.” I said, “I made this scrapbook up about myself.” And I said, “Here it is, this is why you have
to hire me while you still like me.” And I got it right there I put my hands on the desk
and I said, “Because I’m just gonna tell you something, I’m gonna be a
hemoroid. You may not see me but you know I’m always hanging around and I’m
gonna be there bothering you all the time. Next thing I know within like two months I
get this phone call and they say, “Get over here, there’s a secretarial position open.
It’ll get your foot in the door.” Next thing I knew I begged them I said, “If you give
me six months in there in that boutique and you don’t like what do I know that
God prepared me for this job. I will do you right and if you don’t like me you can take
me out. Well I’ve been here 12 years. My name it means “the beloved”. But there’s
another meaning from a different tribe, it means “this too shall pass”. Whatever I’m
going through or whatever my patient’s going through with my
hands and Gods help it’ll pass. {Music}

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