NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A local teacher who’s battling breast cancer won $100,000 for her school.

Nicole Conlisk loves her students. She’s been a math teacher in the Bronx for years and was so excited about being pregnant with twin girls. At seven months in however, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and immediately started chemotherapy.

“I was shocked. I didn’t expect it at all. I was healthy, I’m young,” Conlisk said.

She is just 33-years-old and, while being treated for cancer, gave birth to Peyton and Jordyn earlier this year.

Nicole Conlisk, her son Jason, and newborn twins. (TV 10/55)

“I thank them because I feel like they gave me the strength to make it through those last two months before they were born.”

Nicole’s husband is a New York City fire captain and says his wife has always been incredibly strong, even when he saw her right after her diagnosis.

“I walk through the door and the first thing she tells me is ‘I love you and everything’s going to be fine.’” Jason Conlisk said.

Nicole had to leave her job when she got sick, but says her students are constantly checking up on her.

“They keep email and texting me when are you going to come back? Are you going to come back before the end of the year?”

(credit: Jason Conlisk)

A fellow teacher sent Nicole information on a contest with Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Teachers from all over the country and Canada signed up for the contest sharing their different stories.

“Nicole won first place and the grand prize. She won the free cruise and was supposed to win $25,000 for her school but ended up winning $100,000 for her school,” Jason said. “Sponsors of the contest heard her story and were inspired to donate more which was great.“

Nicole still has surgery and months of chemo and radiation ahead, but hopes to be back at school later this year.