Jean Harrison came to Great Bend to retire from a long and active service career — one that brought her the acclaim of being named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women this year — but moving to Great Bend, and retiring and receiving national honors weren’t the only events that made this year stand out.
Unfortunately, the year was also marked with a major challenge in Harrison’s life.
“I experienced the ‘C’ diagnosis — cancer — in May of this year and stayed at the Hope Lodge (in Kansas City) for seven weeks of radiation treatment at KU Cancer Center in August and September. So I have first-hand experience of living there.”
Now Harrison is leading a local effort to raise funds for a project at the Hope Lodge.
According to information from the organization, “Hope Lodge in Kansas City provides a home away from home for cancer patients who have traveled from out of town for treatment.
“For 365 days a year, the Hope Lodge provides patients with easy access to some of the nation’s leading medical institutions while offering a caring, community environment during their stay.”
Harrison is raising money for something to help that facility be more “homey.”
“These donations that I am requesting are to go toward purchasing new flowered or designer (cheery) shower curtains for the 50 rooms in this facility.
“Since cancer patients who are receiving treatment experience a ‘low’ emotional state, the facility needs to promote cheerfulness. The present shower curtains are institutional cream colored stiff plastic and barely cover the shower opening.”
Harrison has donation cans at OPI and at Waddell and Reed, both in downtown Great Bend, where funds can be dropped off to help defray the costs of this project.
Donations can also be mailed to American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, 1120 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo. 64105. Or, for information about business donations, call 816-842-6427.
By the way, Harrison’s highlight this year came as a recognition of a life career working in Medicare and Medicaid management as a customer service representative for the federal government. She also worked in pension administration in the private sector and as the owner of HR Career Connection.