A fight to the finish

We lost another strong fighter in the battle against cancer this past week.  Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, who diagnosed and treated her own breast cancer before a dramatic rescue from the South Pole, died at the age of 57.  She was the only doctor among 41 staff at the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in winter 1999 when she discovered a lump in her breast.  Rescue was out of the question. Because of the extreme weather conditions, the station is closed to the outside world for the winter. She had no choice but to treat the disease herself, with help from colleagues she trained to care for her and U.S.-based doctors she stayed in touch with via satellite e-mail.  She documented her ordeal in the best-selling book Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole.

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Filed under Cancer, Inspirational Individuals

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