Interview

Jayne Mederios: fighting to better lives

 

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Jayne Mederios:

By Talon Staff reporter Jennifer Furrow

Jayne Mederios has spent the majority of the career giving people meaning, joy and hope during some rather difficult times of their lives. Little did she know, a difficult year was standing on her door step.

On December 27, 2013, only two days after Christmas, Jayne discovered a lump on her breast diagnosed with triple negative stage 3C breast cancer. “This is the stage right before it gets dangerous,” Jayne reports, “I feel very luck and very blessed that I caught it myself.” Doctors started performing numerous procedures posthaste and rushed her into therapy, chemo and radiation. It was a year packed with long, extensive treatment. Like many others, Jayne faced the unfortunate effects of all the treatment but found ways to keep her spirits up. Due to the radiation “I lost my hair, which was really sad and really hard,” Jayne recalls, so “I got a wig.” She kept in touch with her supportive coworkers and beloved YoHoHs. Jayne admits, “I missed being part of [the club], but kept in touch via email.” During this time Jayne received pictures of the Youth Heart of Hospice members at outing and meetings, which made her want to get back to work even more. Little things like this reminded Jayne of what she had to step away from but kept her spirits up. In October of 2014, Jayne’s radiation was over and normal things, like her hair, slowly started to grow into what they once were. Jayne was offered reconstruction “to even things out.” After some thought, she agreed. The procedure was performed earlier this month. By the end of January, Jayne should be back to work full time.The job she will be returning to is one that she was recruited to four years ago while working as Haws Ridge’s Activities Director. “I went out to lunch and they demanded an answer before I left.” As the Volunteer Coordinator at Heart of Hospice, she would be paid more for doing a job she loves. Of course she said yes! Her coworkers admire her “enthusiasm.” Through this difficult time the Heart of Hospice Staff has been “very aware of Jayne’s situation and has been very supportive,” Jayne’s coworker Candace Wilson reports. The company values Jayne too much to lose her.

Much like the Heart of Hospice, The members of the YoHoHs recognize Jayne’s struggle and admire her courage and strength. “She’s a stud muffin woman who’s gone through a lot and yet still volunteers to take us on outings,” Sophomore Deylan Gudiel states, “people like her make a difference without expecting any credit.”

Juniors Olivia Mitchell and Dhani Freeland agree. “Her genuine spirit is visible upon meeting,” Mitchell says. “I admire her compassion towards patients and the community,” Freeland adds.

Former YoHoH President and HRV Class of 2015 Graduate Zoe Peterson praises Jayne for everything she does. “Jayne Mederios truly embodies everything the Heart of Hospice Foundation stands for,” Peterson states, “the compassion and humanity she extends to her patients has inspired me and many members of the YoHoHs for years. When visiting patients, Peterson recalls watching “grim faces turned to delight” when Jayne enters the room. “Jayne has a special talent for brightening people’s days and bringing joy to an otherwise discouraging situation.” Her “special attitude” makes “both her patients and her volunteers feel appreciated and valued in her presences.” Peterson also makes sure to note Jayne’s “incredible work ethic:” She would spend many hours planning outings and events, and kept everyone organized.”

Despite the difficulties and frustrations of “coordinating rides and permission slips,” Jayne doesn’t mind the time she spends on the YoHoHs. Her main goal for the club is to make it “fun and meaningful for both the patients and the kids,” and she hopes “the club continues to grow and find leaders and communicators.” In support of this goal, Jayne started a YoHoHs club in the Dalles.

 

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