A Love That Defied A Cancer Diagnosis When Andrea St. John and Kevin Broderick met in 2006, they were both teaching high school in Lake Placid, N.Y. Broderick was in recovery from a rare form of cancer. But that didn't stop them from falling in love. Recently, St. John spoke with Broderick's brother about their relationship.
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A Love That Defied A Cancer Diagnosis

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A Love That Defied A Cancer Diagnosis

A Love That Defied A Cancer Diagnosis

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Time now for StoryCorps, when we hear from people around the country talking about their lives. Today, a love story. Andrea St. John and Kevin Broderick met in 2006. They were both teaching high school in Lake Placid, New York. Kevin was in recovery from a rare form of cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. Andrea came to StoryCorps recently with Kevin's brother to talk about the early days of that relationship.

Ms. ANDREA ST. JOHN (High School Teacher): I think it took a little while for him to build up the courage to ask me to do something alone. We had a lot of seventh-grade-style dates, you know, where a lot of our mutual friends kind of met in one place.

Mr. TOM BRODERICK (Kevin Broderick's Brother): Chaperones.

Ms. ST. JOHN: Chaperones, yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRODERICK: So you knew he had Ewing's.

Ms. ST. JOHN: Yeah.

Mr. BRODERICK: Was that scary?

Ms. ST. JOHN: No. And not until when he went back for the check-up scans did I really think about cancer and his life or our lives. We were back at school when he got the call from his doctors. And, being new to this, I walked into the faculty room and his eyes were red, and you know, I hit go on the copier and I'm not paying attention. And then I turned around and said, are your eyes OK? And then as soon as I got the words out of my mouth, I realized, oh no. And he said, yeah, I think you should get your jacket. Maybe we'll go for a walk. And he told me what his doctors had told him, that the cancer was back. There's a spot in my thigh, and in my ribs and in my pelvis. And he paused and he said, the scans lit up like a Christmas tree.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. ST. JOHN: One morning, I woke up and got his tea ready and his breakfast ready and stuff and said, hey, I need your opinion on something. I want to wear this dress to your wake. And so I put in on, and I stood up on the bed and I said, how do I look? And he started to cry and I said, oh, God. I'm so sorry. I'll take it off. I didn't mean to upset you at all. And he said no, it's just that you looked so beautiful. I'm so glad I got to see you in that dress. And he kept crying, and I held his hand and sat down on the bed next to him and said, what's going on? He said, it's just that I woke up this morning more ready.

(Soundbite of guitar)

Ms. ST. JOHN: And I asked him what that felt like. And he paused and looked at me and he said, well, I guess it's the same thing you felt when you put the dress on this morning.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: Andrea St. John, with Tom Broderick, at StoryCorps in Saranac Lake, New York. Kevin Broderick died earlier this year. This interview will be archived with all StoryCorps interviews at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress. The podcast is at npr.org.

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