When the doctor called to tell Scott, a healthy-looking, high-energy man that he only had a month to live, family and friends were stunned.
Donyel and Scott immediately began the search for every available treatment and palliative care services, but quickly learned that there were relatively few options open to pancreatic cancer patients.
“Everything I came across online was not help, but questions from other cancer families. What can they eat? Who to turn to when doctors give up? So much confusion and so many questions. I knew at that point, that I had to take matters in my own hands by finding alternative options for Scott.
Then there’s the obscene costs. One cancer center told me that Scott’s first, initial visit would cost $26,100. Impossible,” shared Donyel. Scott lost his battle to pancreatic cancer just four, short months after his diagnosis.
“It was such a bittersweet time because we had just learned that I was pregnant. He fought so hard to stay with us so that he could see our firstborn child. After losing our baby on October 8, our anniversary, Scott lost his desire to keep fighting.”
These loses only fueled Donyel’s desire to inspire others who are walking painful and difficult cancer roads.
Today, Donyel is still fighting her own cancer, while running a pancreatic cancer nonprofit named after her beloved husband, Scott Eli Jackson. She also started a for-profit organization, that features her own formulated skin care product, to help pay for her own ongoing healthcare costs and to bless the lives of other cancer patients through The Scott Eli Jackson Foundation and The Pink Warrior Project.
"I have helped Donyel with some of her event for the foundation. Its amazing to watch how her willingness others impacts your life and challenges you to do more. At the foundation toy drive, it was amazing to see the smiles on the children faces. One parent was grateful for the toys because she didn't know how she was going to make Christmas happen.
The gala is a whole other experience. To see Donyel help the families who lost a loved one to this disease and comfort them through their pain is inspiring within its self. I will continue to support in any way I'm capable of supporting.
Its refreshing to see a woman of color making a difference in the community especially when she has her own challenges to face. I applaud her and her efforts and God will continue to bless her and this foundation tremendously."