Jessica Morton is a loving Mother. She is a twice retired Grandmother who just celebrated her 72nd birthday (Happy Birthday, Jessica!). And she is a dedicated pediatrics professional for CORAkids.
It’s a certain focus and determination that has allowed her to thrive in her role as Patient Services Coordinator for our CDSA Clinics in North Carolina, a position that she’s proudly held since joining CORA back in August 2014.
To find ways to increase positive outcomes for the children and families CORA serves, Jessica developed a system “that helps track over 100 Medicaid clients per month and keeps all authorization and doctors’ orders up to date”.
“We have over 100 children mostly under the age of 3, that we provide weekly Physical Therapy for in the home setting,” said Morton. Since most of the region’s referrals come direct from the Children’s Developmental Services Agency of NC, it’s critically important “that all of the proper paper work is in place so that our PTs can see the children without interruption.”
But for those of you who have never had the chance to meet Jessica, her story is one of hope and inspiration.
“My life was turned upside down last July 2017 when, after 20 years of being cancer free, I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer in the Lymph Nodes of the right chest and a tumor on my Thyroid. I already suffered from high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and Type-2 Diabetes.”
Following the diagnosis Jessica knew she needed to evaluate her lifestyle. She immediately put her best foot forward to change her diet and exercise habits and noticed a profound impact.
“Within 12 weeks of switching to a Whole Food plant-based lifestyle — with 30 minutes of light bike riding six days a week — I had lost a lot of weight and test [results] revealed the lymph nodes in my chest were beginning to shrink”.
Changes to her daily routine had made her a believer after just three short months. So when PT Month @ CORA rolled around and her supervisor challenged her to participate in the MakeMe App Challenge, Jessica sprinted full steam ahead. The decision to get involved was simple. In her words, it was the accountability needed to keep up with her daily exercise and maintain her healthy plant-based lifestyle.
“I’ve been fortunate to witness firsthand the necessity of a healthy lifestyle and [its direct correlation to] good health. The key to my success this past year — not just last month — has not been [chemo] pills but food!”
MakeMe App provided a unique perspective that “most of us do not make the time to do the things we know we should do to stay fit, active and healthy. It was a way to share and encourage others that a healthy life-style can not only help lose weight, it can help reverse many conditions we’ve all been told are just a natural part of growing old.”
In fact, she even credits the PT Month Challenge for delivering the extra drive to push through the difficult days when negative side effects from her chemo pill left her feeling tired and ill.
Admittedly, “I had a bad finish in keeping up with exercise the last week [of the challenge] because of side effects from the Chemo pill; but, that has not dampened my spirits regarding exercise and proper nutrition to stay healthy, active and fit throughout the coming year.”
Because according to Jessica she owes everything to health and exercise. This past September, “I had another PET scan and my Doctor told me that none of the nodes were hyper-metabolic. Actually, there was no signs of hyper-metabolic activity anywhere in my body. NO CANCER!”
And thanks to her renewed healthy lifestyle she no longer has Type-2 Diabetes and her cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure have all returned to normal. She’s witnessed the benefits and now wants others to hear her message.
“I would love to be a part of seeing others discover the joy of a renewed life – physically, emotionally and mentally – even in their golden years!”
A Mother. A Grandmother. A dedicated pediatrics profession. She can now add cancer survivor to her growing list of accomplishments.
And one day hopes to add GREAT grandmother to her name!