Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald
Unable to get outside help, Jerri performed a biopsy on herself. A machinist helped her with her IV and test slides, a welder helped with her chemotherapy. Chemo drugs were supplied by a daring airdrop by the US Air Force in freezing and blackout conditions. Eventually she was lifted off of the ice by the Air National Guard when the weather reached a balmy 58 degrees BELOW zero in one of the earliest flights ever.
Unbelievably, she returned to Antarctica several times after that. She never let an adventure go by without participating.
"I would rather not have it. But the cancer is part of me. It's given my life color and texture. Everyone has to get something. Some people are ugly, some people are stupid. I get cancer," she said.
At 57, I think Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald taught us all a lot about surviving and about living. Thank you, Jerri, your spirit touched many and we are all richer for it.
If you haven't read her book, it's a great read!