Jennifer, a Birthplace nurse at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, is also a wife and a mother of three children, one of whom has cancer.Jennifer’s 14-year-old daughter, Jaelynn, was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoblastic leukemia in October, just 11 months after Jennifer started working at Fairview.“We commute sometimes five times a week for chemotherapy and other treatments at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. It’s 100 miles round trip.”
“Fairview has been amazing,” she adds. “My boss, Becky Baker, and our staffer, Vicki Barsness, have been so helpful. I give them my daughter’s chemo schedule, and colleagues jump in to cover my shifts.”
“The staff in The Birthplace at Fairview Lakes are a team. They have seen each other through so many of life’s changes,” says Becky, inpatient nursing director.“Staff was so in tune to the needs of Jennifer’s family and, when they witnessed needs out-pacing resources, they took action.”
Jennifer’s co-workers wrote to radio station KDWB’s Christmas Wish program, which gives gifts, gift certificates and other needed items to families who are going through hard times.Their compelling letter resulted in a number of gifts from the program, one of which was a high-quality wig for Jaelynn. “I was speechless, especially when they read the letter on the air. I was crying,” says Jennifer.
Jennifer credits her experience as a patient at University of Minnesota Medical Center with her choice to become a registered nurse.“When I was pregnant with my daughter, I went into respiratory distress,” Jennifer explains. “That’s when I decided to become a nurse–because of the incredible care I received.”