Friday, July 4, 2008

On Independence Day, remembering a woman who gave all
A guest post by MARK EDWARD SOPER

It was one month ago today, Fr. Roger J. Landry writes (via NRO's Corner), that Polish volleyball champion Agata Mroz died at 26. The daughter of sports coaches, Agata led her teams to numerous national and international championships while providing a great example of leadership on and off the field.

Her greatest challenge, though, was her long fight with leukemia. She was first diagnosed with a precursor, MDS, when she was 17. By 2007, her condition forced her to leave the game, and by the time of her marriage in June, she was too ill to honeymoon with husband Jacek Olszewski.

After becoming pregnant and being warned that she needed a bone-marrow transplant, she opted to wait until her daughter Lilliana was born to undergo transplant surgery. The bone-marrow transplant took place on May 21, but Agata caught an infection and died on June 4.

On a day when we celebrate a free nation and the sacrifices made by so many to assure its freedom, Agata's story reminds us that the love of God and the love of a mother for her child are older and greater than the love of country, and make the love of country possible.

Mark Edward Soper is a technology writer, a daily reader of the Dawn Patrol, and an occasional commenter.