Teacher battling cancer gets big surprise from her students and the Phillies

Saturday, May 6, 2017
VIDEO: Teacher battling cancer gets surprise from Phillies
Watch the report from Jeff Skversky on Action News at 6 p.m. on May 5, 2017.

MAYFAIR -- It's a surprise of a lifetime.

Mary Polakow, a teacher at Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Mayfair who just returned to school after undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, was surprised by her students and the Phillies Friday during an assembly in her honor.

"My students are everything, and they're the reason - I've been in education for 30 years - they're the reason I come back. And to make a difference in someone's life, it just... I don't know. Words fail me right now. I'm just stunned," Mary said.

"It just puts things into perspective. We take it for granted a lot, the position that we're in to be able to really see how much of a difference we can make, it's incredible. It really hits home," said Phillies rookie Brock Stassi.

This hits close to home for Stassi because a family friend won her battle with breast cancer, and he used to be a substitute teacher to make ends meet while trying to fight his way to the major leagues.

"Being a part of a teaching staff is a lot like being a part of a baseball team. Each person has their roll, and everybody pulls for one another," Stassi said.

After Friday's surprise, we asked Mary if Brock Stassi was her new favorite player.

"I think so. I think so - definitely so," Mary replied.

Mary Polakow was invited to Friday night's game at Citizen's bank Park as the Phillies take on the Nationals.

She's in much better spirits these days. Best of luck to you, Mary.

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