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Released September 9, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS GULF COAST NURSING STUDENT
GETS SUPPORT FROM FELLOW CLASSMATES

LONG BEACH - Life was going along as planned for 39-year-old Lisa Meredith until she found out she had breast cancer.

Meredith, who would have been a senior nursing student this year at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer in July and started treatment last month.

"The devastating diagnosis of breast cancer has hit one of our own nursing students," said Dr. Linda Mignor, former coordinator of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast nursing program and associate professor who recently retired.

Meredith, a student in the 2004 graduating class, will not be able to attend classes this academic year. Instead, she will be undergoing radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery.

"We fully expect Lisa to return to school next fall with the class of 2005," said Mignor. "Many college students fall within the 53 million people in the United States who are uninsured, and Lisa is no exception."

In her plan to become a registered nurse, Meredith chose to make studying her primary focus during nursing school and therefore was not employed full time. This choice left her without medical insurance, and due to other roadblocks, she is currently unable to secure state assistance.

In order to help her with medical expenses, her friends and classmates of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Student Nurses' Association have stepped up to the plate.

A yard sale fund-raiser will be held in her honor from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Biloxi Town Green. All proceeds will benefit Meredith.

The Student Nurses' Association has also set up an account at the USM Federal Credit Union in Meredith's name for those who would like to make a donation. The credit union is located at 730 East Beach Blvd., Long Beach, Miss., 39560. Donors can also contact the Credit Union by calling (228) 867-8786 to transfer funds.

One of the nursing students aiding in this process is Jennifer Good, a senior nursing major of Biloxi.

"I have had the pleasure of attending school with Lisa for the past year," said Good. "Lisa is a hardworking, dedicated and intelligent individual with a passion for nursing. Lisa loves helping people, which is just one of the many reasons why I - and everyone else who knows Lisa - want to help her in her time of need. I can say for myself and on behalf of those I attend school with that we are thankful to the community for their support and prayers."

The Student Nurses' Association thanks the community in advance for consideration in helping a Southern Miss Gulf Coast student beat this disease and achieve her goal of serving others as a registered nurse.

Meredith lives in Biloxi with her husband, Rick; daughter, Shawnda, 20; sons, Harley, 18; and Vincent, 16; 2-month-old grandson, Dominick; and her mother-in-law, Bobby.

"I don't know how I am ever going to repay everyone for their love and generosity," said Meredith. "I just hope that this experience will help me be a better nurse and help others. Thank you to all."

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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