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Students and staff lift up Marietta Jackson through medical struggles

Graphic by Liv Klassen | Photo Editor

Marietta Jackson has been a staple in the Drake community, always greeting those who come into Hubbell Dining Hall by name and being a smiling face for all to see. These past few months have been difficult for her after recently being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but some Drake University students and staff wanted to help turn things around for her. 

A GoFundMe was created by senior Maggie Bair, a sociology major, after a conversation with other Hubbell Dining Hall employees. She said it was a joint effort. 

“Last week I had several conversations with my friend, Antonio, as well as another Hubbell dining hall worker, David Dodge, about what we could do to help Marietta. A lot of people love her and we felt like something had to be done,” Blair said. “So, David brought up the idea of a GoFundMe, and I jumped on it and started one.”

Dodge, a co-worker of Jackson’s, said that he wanted to do something to help since she is such a nice person and doesn’t deserve something like this. But he will admit it raised a lot more money than he thought it would. Just six days after it started, the GoFundMe had raised over $31,000.

“We wanted to create the GoFundMe for a few reasons. The first being obviously to help out financially because nobody should have to shoulder the burden of all those costs on their own,” Blair said. “Secondly, we wanted Marietta to know how loved she is by everyone in the Drake community and beyond it. We wanted her to be able to see how many lives she’s touched and how many people she has changed, just by being herself.”

The Hubbell staff have been in this position before when it was a different coworker, but Jackson said it is unusual to be on the other end. 

“I am so grateful for all of the support, the prayers, and the love,” Jackson said. “Because I have [the support] from my coworkers, I have it from every one of the Drake students, all of the staff, everywhere. It’s love all around.”

Despite everything that is going on, she still shows up to work with a smile on her face, being a ray of light not only to students but to her co-workers as well.

“She does a whole lot here. And when she’s on break, she’s still working,” Hubbell worker Alice Grayson said. “She’s just all over the place…she’s awesome, she is just so awesome.”

Jackson is grateful for her job, which has given her coworkers that care for her and students that put a smile on her face every single day. 

“These kids are amazing. They really are. They pay me to come here and do exactly what it is I enjoy to do…I enjoy each and every single one of these kids; they put a smile on my face,” Jackson said. “I absolutely love my coworkers as well; they are amazing. There’s been some days where I have not been feeling well and my coworkers are always trying to make me eat. When you work with people like this, it feels like you are in a great big happy family.”

Jackson wasn’t the only one shocked by the GoFundMe amount raised, with Hubbell Executive Chef Angela Shultz saying, “It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. You hear so much bad in the world, and to think that so much good can come of this…It made me feel really happy, an overall really happy feeling.” 

Her GoFundMe has seen over 959 donations from all over the community. This GoFundMe has far surpassed the $15,000 goal and still remains open for donations.

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