Hi I'm Jenny
I'm a doctoral candidate. I have leukemia. I'm a Mormon.
I grew up in Utah, but have attended graduate school in Arizona, New York City, and Washington, D.C. I study American history, particularly American religious history, women's history, memory, and material culture. I love examining how people remember and commemorate the past through items like quilts, posters, architecture, furniture, and other items. I am now writing my dissertation on my way to earning my Ph.D. I love to travel, run marathons, sew, read, cook, and garden. I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in November 2010. One day I was a healthy, active graduate student, and the next day I was in the hospital starting a rigorous regimen of chemotherapy. My treatments will continue for two years. As I've adjusted to a new lifestyle, I've recognized the importance of my family and friends, and I draw daily upon their support. I also recognize the importance of taking care of my body and spirit.
I was born into an LDS family, and I am grateful for the faith and traditions taught me in my childhood. I value, more importantly, my own personal faith and experience as I have studied and sought my own understanding and belief. I am a Mormon because I believe a loving Heavenly Father has a plan for me. I believe that this life is an opportunity to prove to Him and to myself that I have the desire, the faith, and the commitment to remain true to Him. I believe that through the mercy and love and grace of His Son, Jesus Christ, I can overcome my physical weaknesses and afflictions and sins--anything that causes me to fall short of God. I am a Mormon because I seek after the tender mercies of the Lord and I recognize my need for grace, and I draw upon the faith and commitment of those around me to help me in my physical and spiritual needs. I am a Mormon because I, too, hope to reach out to those around me and provide sustenance and love.
My faith influences every aspect of my life, from my friendships, to my social activity, to my lifestyle. I study Mormon history, particularly Mormon women's history, and I find great intellectual satisfaction in tracing the past of my religious heritage. The members of my congregation have taken care of me as I've experienced the diagnosis and chemotherapy associated with my cancer, providing me with meals, rides, visits, and assistance in working through medical care and other needs. I serve as the president of our local women's organization at church, and I have found the opportunity to serve, even in a time of my own sickness and challenge, to be a great relief. As my personal anxiety mounds around my health and care, I can reach out and serve others and lose my needs and concerns.