People in two rows posing

GB teacher shares story of resilience, hope with medical professionals

  • Jannell Pickeral, a language teacher at General Brown Junior-Senior High School, shared her journey through multiple cancer diagnoses during a presentation called "Resiliency and Hope for a Patient with Multiple Cancers” on May 27 at Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse.

    Pickeral, who has worked in the district for 31 years and has battled thyroid cancer, breast cancer and two separate sarcomas over the past 12 years, said she found the experience of telling her story rewarding. “I am very open about my cancer journey and answer questions openly and honestly if asked, especially if I feel it can help others,” she said.

    During the presentation, Jim Monaco, a psychologist in Watertown and a faculty advisor at Upstate Cancer Center, asked Pickeral and her husband, Rob, questions about their experiences through the diagnoses.

    Medical students working on their fellowship, as well as their professor, Dr. Stephen Graziano, who is the division chief of Upstate Cancer Center Adult Hemotology/Oncology, attended the presentation and asked the Pickerals questions as well.

    For those around her, Pickeral’s willingness to share her story as she fights cancer has been powerful.

    “Jannell continues to inspire others and support others within our General Brown community and beyond by sharing her cancer journey. Her positivity and strength are unwavering, and she serves as a role model for our students and her colleagues to continue to focus on what’s important in life,” Superintendent Barbara Case said.