Back-to-school means a lot to Romanczuk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Features Editor

After a three-week vacation from the classroom, some students pulled the cover over their heads Tuesday morning and begged to stay home just one more day. However, most were anxious to get back to school and see their friends and, of course, learn new things.

And, of the 1,139 students at Troy Elementary School, none was as happy to be back as Anthony Romanczuk.

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Anthony’s wish was to return to school in the spring but, to his delight, he was able to take his place in the classroom yesterday. He did so with a few butterflies and a happy and thankful heart.

Yesterday was the first time in more than a year, that 10-year-old Anthony had been to school. His little brother, Jonathon, walked in with him and Jonathon was as excited to have Anthony back at school as Anthony was to be back at school.

Seven months ago, Anthony was confined to a hospital room, barely able to lift his head off the pillow. His dreams, his hopes and his prayers were that there would come a day when he would be well enough to return to school with his friends and possibly lead a "normal" life again.

Christmas week, Anthony and his family were given the best gift they could have asked for. They were told that the bone marrow transplant Anthony received in March was a success and that he was being released from his Birmingham doctors. He would only have to return for a one-year checkup.

Along with that great news came the okay for Anthony to return to school. Not, in the spring as he had hoped, but at a time when he had not even dared to dream – after Christmas.

So, on a cold, windy January morning, Anthony Romanczuk slipped into his jacket, shouldered his book bag and walked into his school, just like every other "normal" 10-year old.

He was welcomed "back to school" by his teacher David Spires. Anthony said he is excited to have "Mr. Spires" as his third grade teacher, because he has never had a male teacher before. He is also excited to renew the friendships with his schoolmates that were made several years ago.

But most of all, Anthony said he is blessed to start school with a new, healthy body.