All for one

TeamMaryBostic

 TeamMaryBostic As the new school year started last fall, Tabor College students likely returned with the expectations of continuity of service in the cafeteria and the brownie sundae bar?and especially the person responsible for it all, cafeteria coordinator Mary Bostic.

But not long after the semester began, Bostic announced she had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

The campus community reacted to the troubling news in a variety of ways. But one distinctive response took on a life of its own in the weeks and months ahead.

Tabor Student Senate President Taylor Funk spearheaded a project called ?Team Mary,? a plan to provide moral support and encouragement for Bostic during the weeks of her leukemia treatments.

Members of the Student Senate proposed distributing pink T-shirts embossed with the words ?Team Mary? to students, faculty and staff. The shirt would be worn on Mondays, the day before her treatments.

?We wanted Student Senate to be more of a government reaching out to students,? Funk said. ?We were hoping to contribute more than just prayer for Mary, so we came up with a more visual representation.?

Funk said that with all of the energy that Bostic invests in the Tabor community, the message of support communicated through the shirts represented was a simple way to give something meaningful back to her.

Funk said that when Bostic was diagnosed, Student Senate members wanted to see Tabor be part of the effort to support her.

?You know, who doesn?t love a free T-shirt?? Funk said. ? We didn?t think it?d go over as awesome as it did?everyone wanted to do anything that they could to support Mary. A big thanks goes out to Atomic Sports in Hesston for giving us a great deal on T-shirts and making it happen.?

 

 

TeamMaryBosticcopy The T-shirt project was kept secret until Oct. 31, the Monday of Bostic?s first treatment. After chapel on that day, students, staff and faculty gathered in the cafeteria to surprise Mary.

?The first day we did it, I was surprised by the diversity of the students who wanted to participate,? Funk said. ?We had everyone from students, staff and members of the community who all wanted a T-shirt to show their support.?

Bostic?s son, Brian, kept his mother out of the cafeteria all morning prior to the event and away from the warm of supporters wearing the T-shirts.

Mary Bostic described the morning reveal of the ?Team Mary? project as being a complete surprise.

?It was great to see all of the people in the Tabor community there supporting me,? she said. ?It?s just a wonderful reminder when I see those shirts that we?re all on the same team.?

The shirts conveyed their support for Bostic.

?She was in tears of joy,? Funk said. ?It really lifted her spirits and motivated her. It was such a God-thing with the timing and everything.?

Campus pastor Mike Brouillette said students respect Bostic for the time and energy she invests on campus. He said it?s not uncommon for her to work 60 to 80 hours a week.

?I think Mary?s impeccable reputation has allowed her to make unique connections with the student body,? Brouillette said. ?(Her) reaction was quite normal for the kind of person she is. Mary pours into the lives of others?it?s the kind of love that doesn?t have a bias.?

Student Senate originally ordered 350 shirts, but because of high demand, the Senate ordered another delivery for distribution.

Another visual expression that the student body did in support of Bostic was to write notes of encouragement on pink notecards. The messages were compiled and put into a book for Bostic to read while going through her treatments.

Brian Bostic said the gestures of support by the campus community have made an impact on their family.

?It affected our family very deeply, it was a very emotional experience for sure,? he said. ?The reason it affected me the most was because mom works so hard, and this just showed how people viewed her.?

Bostic said his mother is always investing herself in the people around her.

?I was, as mom would say, ?floored? because of the students? support of mom through her struggle,? he said. ?She?s such a fighter, and such a leader in our family. She?s always been the strong one.?

Mary Bostic has completed her first two months of treatment, and has now advanced to a milder form of chemotherapy.

?I am able to keep my energy level up,? she said. ?I?m halfway through my chemotherapy. It will stop within a month, and then radiation. I should be done and clear by this summer.?

Brouillette said he wasn?t surprised by the impact the project had on Tabor community.

?Anytime you live for a cause greater than yourself, there?s always unity in that,? he said.

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