Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, R.I.P.

In the middle of some big celebrity deaths -- Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson -- I want to take a minute and talk about the death of Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald.

She's best known for her time on Antarctica in 1999, during which she found a lump on her breast, trained crew members to help her biopsy it, and then started treated the cancer. She was airlifted off Antarctica in one of the earliest flights to the continent, and after treatment her cancer was eventually in remission. But it returned in 2005, and she died on June 23.

FitzGerald wrote a book about her time on Antarctica, called "Ice Bound." I read it years ago, and was completely engrossed in the story. I'm fascinated with Antarctica and will read just about any book on the subject, but this book in particular does a great job of discussing the details of life at the South pole, explaining the atmosphere of living there and the personal relationships that develop. I'd recommend it to anyone, for the story and the inspiration found in it. I thank her for sharing her story.

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