The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 22, 2013

Blooming recovery: Cancer survivor welcomed back with 290 daffodils

JOHNSTOWN — Snow may be on the ground outside, but the inside of an office at Pitt-Johnstown in Richland Township blooms with spring.

Eunice Yang, an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering technology department at the university, is surrounded by 290 daffodils.

“They’re all opened up and looking at me,” Yang said from amid the profusion of bright blooms. “My whole office is yellow. It never looked any prettier.”

The daffodils were a huge surprise to Yang, a breast cancer survivor who completed successful treatment in February 2012.

The flower delivery, which included a huge card signed by faculty and students, was engineered by the Pitt-

Johnstown chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

“Pitt-Johnstown is not like a big campus,” Yang explained. “There’s a good rapport between professors and students. We do care about each other, and this exemplifies that. This was their way of showing it. It was a kind act. They’re happy to see me, and the feeling is reciprocal. I was on medical leave for a year.”

Yang was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2011 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments from June 2011 to February 2012.  

Coincidence or not, she said her total treatment time was very close to 290 days.

On Thursdays, Yang typically teaches lab in the basement of the engineering and science building and runs up and down the stairs to her office on the main floor because there is no Internet access downstairs.

“I stayed downstairs from 9 to 12 and came up to my office to do some advising from 12 to 1,” Yang said. “There were seven or eight people, faculty and students, in the hallway to my office talking all at once and wanting to talk to me. I didn’t want to open the door to my office because there wasn’t enough room for them.”

Yang needed to begin her advising, so she opened her office door without looking inside, hoping that would disperse the small crowd.

“I was facing them, and they still continued to talk, then their eyes got big,” Yang said. “I turned toward my office and saw a sea of yellow. There were daffodils on my desk, my shelves and my file cabinets. There are 15 vases. They are congratulations on winning the battle.”

Yang has written a thank you to those who had any part in delivering her spring bouquet and card.

Her message in part reads:

“I want to let you know that every blessing that I receive, such as the thought and care that come from you, makes me feel less and less sad. In many ways, it is very healing. Thank you so much for this.

“During those days, I was scared. I didn’t know why I got cancer and why all this was happening to me, but I trusted God. I gave him full control. Through my journey, God comforted me and also blessed me with so many wonderful people.

“The past two years have truly been a battle, but I feel like a winner because life is sweeter for me now.

“Through my cancer journey, I also have come to realize how special everyone is that I meet. That includes each and every one of you. I hope that the smile you see on my face or the laughter you and I may share shows you that.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 17, 2014

  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads