Chrissy DeGennaro, of Ocean City, with husband Nicholas and son Zachary, 8, has been living with a blood plasma cancer for seven years. They recently lost their lease, after their elderly landlady decided to give their apartment to her son in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Chrissy DeGennaro, of Ocean City, was grateful when she returned to her apartment after Hurricane Sandy and found no damage.

“I was having survivor guilt,” she said. “I was running around collecting gift cards for displaced people.”

But three weeks after the storm, DeGennaro lost her apartment to Sandy after all. Her elderly landlady’s son needed a place to live, and the landlady decided not to renew DeGennaro’s lease. She and her husband, Nicholas, and 8-year-old son Zachary, must be out by Dec. 31, DeGennaro said.

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Under normal circumstances, the forced move would be stressful, coming just a year after moving in and during the holidays. But for seven years DeGennaro has been battling the blood plasma cancer multiple myeloma. Regular chemotherapy is keeping her alive, she said.

“In 2006, I had a stem-cell transplant. I have watched many friends pass away from it, but for some reason I’m still here,” said DeGennaro, 42, who is a member of the cancer support organization Gilda’s Club in Linwood.

Money is tight, since DeGennaro cannot work and her husband was unemployed for a time. He now works in security at the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel.

Friends like Michelle Blumberg, of Ventnor, are trying to help DeGennaro and her family find an affordable year-round rental in Ocean City, so her son can continue in school there. But it’s tough, because so many people need temporary replacement housing.

To help DeGennaro, visit “Find Our Hero Chrissy a Home” on Facebook at or contact Blumberg:

Teachers helping

Vineland school teachers went door to door as volunteers in Ocean City during their recent hiatus, assessing the needs of residents after Hurricane Sandy for OCNJ CARE. Teachers Maritza Gonzalez , Jessica Albertson, Tania Kidd, Jennifer Lapsley, Jamie Lapsley, Meghan Moratelli and Jessica Suppa all participated, a spokesperson said.

Education leader

Peter L. Mora, president of Atlantic Cape Community College, was recently elected chairman of New Jersey Community College Presidents for the 2012-2013 academic year. He will also serve on the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ executive committee.

As a part of the seven-member executive committee, Mora, of Palermo in Upper Township, will help shape statewide community college policies and projects.

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