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St. Bonaventure’s Sister Margaret Carney reveals cancer diagnosis

Sister Margaret Carney, who announced in January she will retire later this year as president of St. Bonaventure University, said in a letter Wednesday that she has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.

Carney, 74, told members of the campus community in an email that she will continue to fulfill her role as president, albeit with a somewhat reduced schedule, according to the advice of her doctors. She is scheduled to retire in July, after 12 years as St. Bonaventure president.

She did not learn of the diagnosis until after she announced on Jan. 19 that she would step down.

“My medical team assures me that I will be able to continue to fulfill my role as long as I somewhat reduce my schedule,” Carney wrote to alumni. “This will cause me to slow my 80 mph daily speed to a more respectable 55 mph! It will also cause me to make schedule choices to protect me from exposure to anything contagious, as the therapy will weaken my immune system. I do ask your understanding in advance should I find myself unable to be with you at an event, meeting or activity that I would normally attend.”

Carney said she was undergoing further tests at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The cancer, called multiple myeloma, causes abnormal plasma cells to collect in bones and bone marrow, she said.

“It will come as 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,” Carney said in her letter. “This is the faith I will do my best to honor and live by in the months ahead. Adding your prayers and support is what I ask and what I will need.”