Guest Spotlight: Jackie Turner
It is the mission of SECU Family House to provide a “safe, affordable home for patients and their loved ones who travel great distances to UNC Hospitals for life-saving procedures and serious illness.”
Family House guest Jackie Turner is no different. Once a month for the past several months, she has made the nearly three-hour drive from Hubert, North Carolina to Chapel Hill to receive immunotherapy at UNC Hospitals for metastatic melanoma - a rare form of skin cancer. When the cancer spread to her lungs last summer, she had surgery to remove the cancerous growths.
What has amazed us about Jackie, as with so many of our guests, is her calm demeanor and her resilience. She typically arrives the day before her treatments, sometimes accompanied by her husband of 45 years, Jesse. The next morning, she heads off to the hospital for an infusion or a visit with one of her doctors and then returns to Family House to rest, eat a hot meal, and enjoy the company of newfound friends, volunteers, and staff.
Jackie tells us that it’s like “being surrounded by family when you are here - that before I knew about Family House, I wondered where I would stay. Family House has helped me a whole lot. I have met other guests who I’ve stayed in touch with. We give encouragement and pray for one another.”
When Jackie is not in Chapel Hill, she and Jesse enjoy being period re-enactment pirate actors, performing at festivals and local theaters. We have a feeling that along with a strong support system paired with excellent medical care at UNC Health and a strong will to enjoy life to the fullest, this retired exceptional education teacher will do just fine and beat cancer. We look forward to seeing her again real soon.