Nothing is going to stop West Islip native Christine Molinari from practicing as a registered nurse.
Not even being diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
“Why sit home and worry when I can be here and help people?” Molinari told GreaterBayShore.
Since being diagnosed in May, the 60-year-old hasn’t missed much work at the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at Good Samaritan Hospital, a position that she’s held since 1992. Even though her cancer has spread to her bones, and, more recently, her liver.
Despite the condition, the Brooklyn-born Molinari works part-time and sports a smile across her face all day at work. Her determination wasn’t stunted when she had to undergo a five-week radiation treatment; she received the therapy during her lunch break, then headed back to her unit with a mask on.
“If I can change the life of another patient, and help them feel better, that’s what helps me feel better,” she said.
Everyone, from her co-workers to patients, has been inspired by her story.
“We are shocked how amazing she handles everything,” said Katie McDonald, Good Samaritan’s assistant vice president of Perioperative Services, who’s worked with Molinari for five years.
“Everyone looks up to her,” added McDonald, choking back tears.
The nurse, who has lived in West Islip most of her life, has two children: Anthony, 28, and Alyssa, 24.
With the support of her family and friends, she’ll continue to take care of the illness — just like it’s another ailment.
“We’re going to treat it just like we treat high blood pressure, diabetes, because people die from those, too, and not everyone dies from cancer,” said Molinari.