Breast cancer survivor thanks nurse for positive journey and lasting friendship

Medford, Or.- “It’s emotional, Jill Kennedy, breast cancer survivor said. “It’s very emotional.”

It’s been seven years since Jill Kennedy got the phone call that changed her life.

“Once you hear you have cancer you kind of shut down,” she said. “You don’t assimilate what’s being said.”

Jill says she doesn’t remember much of the conversation.

“I didn’t answer the phone call,” she said. “I wanted to wait until I was home with my husband and I put it on speaker phone. We both looked at each other and said ‘really, is this happening.’”

When Jill went in to figure out the next steps in the process she was welcomed by a comforting soul.

“She held my hand the whole way,” Jill said. “I must of called her a dozen times and she was so patient and would explain it.”

The consultation with oncology nurse, Kate Newguard would later turn into a lasting friendship.

“We went though the breast cancer experience together, which is my job initially but our friendship has developed overtime,” Newguard said.

And over time that relationship turned into a unbeatable bond.

“One of the gifts for me is that I meet people that I love and just fall in love with,” Newguard said.

Jill says Kate’s walking group with other breast cancer survivors helped her in her recovery.

“We would meet whether we had hair, no hair, bandages. We would be wrapped up or whatever but we would meet at the mall and we would walk.” Jill said. “It was therapeutic talking to other woman who have been through the same thing I was going through.”

And now Jill is doing the same, helping those patients in need like so many did for her.

“Any chance I can get to spread the word and help people, it’s what I want to do,” she said.

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