Guest Spotlight - Jackie and Daphne Wallace

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Jackie and Daphne Wallace are both going through the unimaginable, yet you would never know it when you run into Daphne in the main kitchen most early mornings as she prepares for the day’s appointments.  Far from their U.S. Virgin Islands home, they’ve been staying with us on and off since last July, choosing UNC Hospitals to get the best possible medical care.

Last year Jackie was diagnosed with cancer. Jackie has been receiving chemotherapy infusions several days a week for twelve rounds. Next he’ll undergo surgery to remove the tumor. Asked by one of his doctors if he felt strong enough to keep going, Daphne shared through Jackie that he has a strong “self-preservation to live” – a characteristic that we see in so many of the guests who walk through our doors each day.

In March Daphne found a lump in one of her breasts. A consequent biopsy in September showed that it had developed into Stage 3 breast cancer. Because the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, Daphne started chemotherapy treatments at UNC Hospitals under the guidance of medical oncologist, Dr. Claire Dees, and surgical oncologist, Dr. Kristalyn Gallagher.

With a strong faith and support of her family and friends, Daphne shared that “everything happens as it should. You do the best you can, given the circumstances.” During both of their cancer journeys, she said that she and Jackie have met so many people here who are going through similar journeys; folks who are going through second bouts of cancer, forcing you to realize that there are many people out there in much more challenging circumstances than them and yet “they’re still smiling, so upbeat and so grateful.”

As Daphne and Jackie are both nearing the end of their treatment cycle, they remain ever hopeful and full of gratitude.  “The meals are phenomenal here.  You know it takes a lot of love to feed people who’ll you’ll never see again. You can tell they want to get to know who you are” Daphne shared.

Getting to know inspiring guests like Daphne and Jackie is the gift that keeps on giving here.  All of us at SECU Family House wish them only the best as they enter the next phase of their cancer journey.

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