The first thing Constance Bares mentions when you meet her is likely to be this fact: She is the proud grandmother of 20.

The role of grandma has kept her fighting through her diagnosis of breast cancer in September 2004 and a recurrence four years later. The last year hasn’t been an easy one, but Constance has kept her humor and determination throughout.

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When her neuron-oncologist, Jai Grewal of Neurological Surgery, P.C., gave her the news that the cancer had spread to her lungs, liver and brain, she told him, “My grandchildren are so smart you’d better make my brain better so I can keep up with them!”

These days, Constance is undergoing a series of chemotherapy treatments.

“When I went to my first session, I wore my ‘Irish Grandmother’ sweatshirt with the names of all my grandchildren on it,” she says.

She took the kids to the Nutcracker ballet last holiday season, and is booking another vacation for the winter. “I appreciate every day and am thankful for being blessed with much joy and love.”