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February 13, 2017

Christine’s story: a day to remember

Right before the holiday season, the finance and human resources teams had come together to help a former colleague.

Deb Jackson, a former cleaner of the finance department had been struggling with some very serious health issues over the past few months. Due to a diabetic flare, she has been forced to use a walker to stabilize her mobility and has experienced limited sight due to cataract development. She is currently off work and will most likely not be able to return.

More bad news

As if her medical complications were not enough, Deb’s daughter, Christine (Chrissy), who lives with Deb and has special needs, has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of inoperable breast cancer. Although oral chemo was attempted while she was in palliative care, it was not effective and caused a severe infection. Deb was devastated to hear that her daughter would only have her last few months of life left.

Acknowledging that Deb has worked extremely hard to keep their office spaces clean for a number of years, the teams wanted to give back to her at a time when she needed it the most. The finance and human resources teams both came together in hopes of receiving a few giftcards and Christmas items to support both of these very special individuals. “We wanted to help make this Christmas extra special for them,” says Ellen, “Deb wanted to make some special memories with Christine since this might be her last Christmas.”

“Being on a small disability pension is very difficult- especially when having to buy groceries and basic living necessities for two.”

After only a few days, everyone was shocked at how much support was given for this special cause. The entire box was overflowing with groceries, personal care products, cleaning products, sugar free treats and on top of that, all the gift cards totaled over $,1000!

“Being on a small disability pension is very difficult- especially when having to buy groceries and basic living necessities for two,” says Deb as she cries with joy. “I am so thankful to everyone for their generosity and kindness and they are all angels to help myself and Chrissy.”

Deb was a friend to so many individuals in both the finance and human resources departments. During her time at HHS, every time there was a baby shower, retirement party or any other special occasion, Deb always happily contributed despite making a lower income than most.

A day to remember

Knowing this would be Christine’s last Christmas, Deb wanted to get their picture taken with Santa together. Unfortunately, Christine was not well enough to do so before Christmas, so the two teams had organized a small event in the New Year that would allow Deb and Christine to spend time together, being surrounded by people who all care about each other.

Two wonderful volunteers took the time out of their lives to help make this day so memorable. One was able to do Deb and Christine’s hair and the other did their makeup. They also managed to have a “Santa” come in to see Christine.

Christine would like to encourage all women, especially young women to learn about breast self examinations and to get checked if they notice any changes to their breast health. It really can affect anyone…

When an individual is struggling to make ends meet financially, illness can have even more of a negative impact. Breast cancer touches everyone, but it’s the heart and dedicated efforts of individuals that are able to create special moments within our organization. Something so simple can go such a long way and touch the lives of those who need it the most. The idea of “paying it forward” is one that all of us should take into consideration. Any kindness you receive should in turn, be given to someone else.