Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, who died Tuesday, left the country after divorcing her husband in the ’90s to watch over a small group of people who were working and chillin’ (literally) in the South Pole. Soon enough, however, Jerri realized the one who really needed watching was herself. When she was 47, this daring doc discovered a lump in her breast that she knew was cancer. The last flights out of the South Pole had left and no one was going in or out until the weather became safe for traveling.She determined that she needed chemo, so the Air Force spent a ton of money to drop a load of medical equipment in a field in July. She used video to conference with docs in Indiana about her chemo and breast cancer progress. The tumor shrank but then began to grow again so, in 1999, Jerri got the eff out of there.
After a whole lotta surgery, Jerri’s cancer went into remission again. She must have been pumped because she used her time super well. This gal became a motivational speaker, traveled around the world, wrote a book, and got remarried. We are glad she did, because the cancer came back in 2005. Jerri died on Tuesday in Massachusetts at the age of 57. RIP Doc. It takes one serious to bad ass to live in the South Pole for years with breast cancer. [LA Times]