By Nabeel Jaitapker, M.A.
Dorothy Jackson, pictured center, just returned from a trip to Hawaii. She has been with Bell and Howell for more than 10 years.
Dorothy Jackson has good days and bad.
But that hasn’t changed her attitude towards life.
“It’s important to work hard and still enjoy life,” said Jackson, who has served as a receptionist at Bell and Howell for more than 10 years. “I have to remind myself to always keep smiling since I’m the first person visitors generally see when they come to our offices.”
Jackson, who was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma cancer in May 2015, had surgery two months later where 60 percent of her liver was removed. Additionally, she had to undergo radiation treatment and continues chemo therapy, which had to be stopped after she spent New Year’s Eve 2016 in the hospital with kidney blockage.
“This was the roughest part of them all, and I had to stop chemo until my kidney was functioning back to normal,” she said. “But all these treatments haven’t stopped me from coming to work with a big smile and making the best of what life has to offer.”
Since being diagnosed, Jackson has continued taking several trips that are on her bucket list. Most recently, she returned from a trip to Hawaii, and has also taken a cruise to the Key West. Her next planned trip is to New Orleans for her family’s annual reunion in 2018.
“I told myself when I was diagnosed that I wouldn’t allow it to take over my life,” she said. “I am going to enjoy myself and cherish every memory.”
Jackson is also a single mom to her son Carlos, who works as the director of media production at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC.
“I am a very proud mother because of what he has accomplished,” she said. “And I’m excited to see him graduate with his doctorate next year.”
She also hopes that she can offer Bell and Howell many more years of service in her role.
“I’ve seen this company grow in the past 10 years,” she said. “And I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. Everyone has been real supportive and that’s what makes coming to work so much fun.”