Christine E. Gagliardi was a member of the class of 2006, majoring in television-radio in the Park School. She died at the age of 19 after an eight-month battle with two rare forms of cancer found in one tumor on her spine. This combination of cancers is so rare, she was only the 14th case in the United States and the youngest person ever to contract these cancers. She quickly became well known for the courage with which she faced her terminal disease.
One of Christine's friends remembers her as "an amazing friend. She would always listen. . . She loved to laugh and she was always ready to share her joy." Christine wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey, asking to share with viewers what her illness had taught her. "Life may not be about living until you are 90,” she wrote. “Maybe life is just about coming to understand it and being at peace with what you have been given.”