Heart of the Midstate: Teacher advocates for cancer prevention and research after diagnosis

Heart of the Midstate

In this Heart of the Midstate segment, we’re talking with Wendy Wolpert, a 1st Grade Teacher at Newville Elementary School. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in February 2015. Wendy continued to teach through her rigorous treatment. She often said, “This stupid cancer is trying to take me away from my students.” After a bilateral mastectomy and numerous other invasive surgeries, Wendy continues to teach 1st grade. In August 2015, Wendy was told that the last bit of cancer was removed from her body although she is at high risk for recurrence due to a mutated gene.

Wendy has helped others with cancer in many ways, including helping out with “Voices of Hope,” a program, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, which allows survivors a voice to inspire and educate.

Wendy also travels to educate at various cancer related forums. In 2018, Wendy and her husband drove to Pittsburgh to speak at a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) kickoff event, to share her story. Because of Wendy’s diagnosis, her sister Shelley found it necessary to get a mammogram. Shelley was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer 15 months after Wendy.

Wendy continues to inspire through work with various organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Pink Hands of Hope in Mechanicsburg, and Imerman Angels, as a mentor. Wendy served as the committee chairperson for the 2019 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk held on City Island in Harrisburg. Wendy has used her platform to raise thousands of dollars for cancer research and resources.

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