In May of 2020, as many Fairhaven High School (FHS) students were getting ready to transition into the summer after a trying year of remote learning and missing out on traditional social events, Cyriss Fareas, a junior at the time, was getting ready to fight for her life.
On May 26, 2020, Fareas was diagnosed with cancer, Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While her cancer diagnosis came at the end of the school year, with just a few weeks left, Fareas continued to work with FHS teachers to finish out her junior year, while being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital for cancer.
FHS Athletic Director and Science teacher, Chris Carrig, said “Cyriss embodies what it means to be tough. She fights her battles, and stays committed to her teammates. She has been an inspiration to our whole school community.”
The two-season cheerleader fought for two months through all of the changes cancer and chemo brought her, and on July 24, 2020, got the news that she beat the disease.
At the last FHS football game, Fareas was recognized alongside her cheer teammates and coaches for her courageous fight.
“It has been incredible to watch Cyriss’s journey from the very beginning. She has remained so strong, positive and has been a true inspiration. She showed cancer that it picked the wrong girl. I couldn’t be more proud to be her coach. I look forward to seeing her put this horrible disease behind her and continue to grow into an amazing woman,” said FHS cheer coach and former FHS cheerleader, Hannah Mattos.
Fareas is now eight months cancer-free and her fighting spirit continues to inspire her teammates, coaches, and school community on and off the field. She was celebrated again during Senior Night at the Fairhaven football game on Friday, 4/9/21 at the Paul Walsh Stadium.
After graduation, Fareas plans to attend a four-year college and go into nursing school.
“I want to become an oncology nurse that helps children fighting cancer because I know what it’s like to be in that chemo chair not knowing if you’re going to survive or not. I know what those children are feeling and thinking, and with all this experience I know that this type of nursing will help me as a person share what that child is feeling to others. After that, I plan to work at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and raise a family here in my hometown of Fairhaven.”
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