On Friday, the 41-year-old University of Pennsylvania administrator from Springfield, Delaware County, died.
``People would stop me on the street all the time and ask me how Eva was doing,'' said Cahn, who first met Georgias during a group counseling session after the reporter was diagnosed with cancer in November 1991.
Cahn had discovered her cancer in its early stage; Georgias was not so lucky. A doctor, examining a rash on Georgias' breast, advised her to treat it with a hot compress.
``She was so angry about her cancer and so well-spoken,'' said Cahn.
Cahn and Georgias appeared on the Maury Povich talk show to share their experiences. They traveled to Washington for a rally to increase funding for cancer research.
Over the next five years, as they continued their battle against cancer, Cahn and Georgias grew closer. What had begun as a professional relationship between a reporter and her source had become a personal friendship.
They would go out for margaritas or just talk on Cahn's backyard deck.
``We were girlfriends, close girlfriends,'' said Cahn. ``She knew my secrets and I knew hers. She was smart, she was funny. We talked about men, about our lives.
``I just loved her. I thought she was invincible.''
Even as Georgias went through a withering bone-marrow transplant and experimental drug treatments, she continued working as Penn's director of student financial aid. She bought a house and got married, to Philip Karanicholas.
``She didn't want to get married till her hair came back,'' Cahn remembered. ``At her wedding, people danced and wept.''
Eventually, the cancer spread to Georgias' liver.
Eva Georgias Karanicholas is survived by her husband; a sister, Carol Bomis; her parents, Maria and Anthony Georgias, and two nephews.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on Powell Lane in Upper Darby. Contributions in her name may be made to the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center's Breast Cancer Research Fund, 6 Penn Tower, 3400 Spruce St., Philadelphia 19104.
``Her family thanked me for being a friend, but I'm the one who should thank her. I always got inspiration from Eva,'' Cahn said. ``She could make me laugh about cancer.''
Cahn has been cancer-free for more than five years now, but the death of a close friend has her shaken. ``Out of a small group of people we stayed in touch with, I'm the last,'' she said.
``Eva probably should have died a year ago. She had such a will to live.''