Irene was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. In 2006 she was again diagnosed with cancer that originated at the incision of her previous surgery and had a double mastectomy. In February of 2007, the day after a routine doctor’s visit and blood work, the doctor’s office called and told her to get to the emergency room where she was isolated and evaluated and diagnosed with leukemia. She was then transferred to a different hospital and the search for a bone marrow donor began. After all immediate family members were eliminated as donors, Irene’s case was referred to “Be the Match” National Marrow Donor Program. Three bone marrow drives, at Chandler High School, Pinal County Fair, and Sunnyside High School were held for Irene. On June 15, 2007 Irene received a bone marrow transplant from an unknown donor from outside of the country. During this time she never forgot her students and her students didn’t forget her either, showering her with pictures and drawings wishing her well. Also many people from her hometown prayed that she would get well. Irene was able to return to work in November of that same year. Irene continues to teach today and celebrates a bone marrow transplant birthday every June 15th Irene continues to be involved with the “Be the Match”. She has participated in bone marrow drives in the cities of Tucson, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Henderson, Nevada. She attends Relay for Life functions where her students are participating as walkers and organizers. She visits with cancer patients in hospitals and sometimes at homes. A student twice walked the Susan G. Komen 3 day 60 mile walk in her honor. She has had students and friends with cancer come to her for advice and comfort. She visits with people, young and old, who have cancer and inspires and advices them to live one day at a time. She has brought the community together in prayer and blessings. Everyone continues to pray for her to wish her the best and they are amazed at her good health and personality.