Maureen Monica Muzikar, 29, of Lansdowne, a teacher who raised more than $50,000 to fight leukemia, died of the disease Saturday at home.
Ms. Muzikar's acute myelogenous leukemia was diagnosed in April 2006. In October 2006 and October 2007, she organized a team, Maureen's Mile, to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night walk at Penn's Landing. She also held beef-and-beer fund-raisers.
A graduate of Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, Ms. Muzikar earned a bachelor's degree in business from St. Joseph's University. She then lived in Paramus, N.J., while working for L'Oreal Group, a cosmetics company. After deciding to change careers, she earned a teaching certificate from Cabrini College and taught fourth graders and special-education students for two years at Media Elementary School.
When her leukemia went into remission after chemotherapy, she returned briefly to teaching in fall 2006 before a relapse. She underwent a bone-marrow transplant last May but could not work. Instead, said her father, Joseph, she took classes toward a master's degree in education from Cabrini. She was notified last week that she had earned her degree, her father said.
Ms. Muzikar studied tap and ballet for 11 years while growing up in Lansdowne and loved to dance. She enjoyed spending time with her fiance, Michael Fiugalski. The couple met in kindergarten at St. Philomena School in Lansdowne.
Last month, Ms. Muzikar attended a Mass in Washington celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI. While there, she told a reporter that she was a great admirer of Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, and hoped he would be canonized one day.
"He needs miracles to be a saint," she said with a laugh, "so I just said, 'I'll be one of his.' " Attending the Mass helped her accept her illness, her father said.
She also is survived by her mother, Mary.
Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. today and 8 to 9:15 a.m. tomorrow at the Spencer T. Videon Funeral Home, 400 Shadeland Ave., Drexel Hill. A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Philomena Church, 41 E. Baltimore Pike, Lansdowne. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.
Memorial donations may be made to Maureen's Mile, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 2 International Plaza, Philadelphia 19113.