VOLUME 44 NUMBER 2
The summer before last, Jayne Fox, our brilliant, funny, irreverent, trusted colleague, stood before hundreds assembled at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester and talked about what she learned in chemo rooms.
Jayne was the speaker at a kick-off breakfast for the Walk to Cure Cancer, a major community fundraiser. She related conversations with the men and women she met during the seven-year course of her treatment for lymphoma. So many times, she said, the people in those rooms heard that there wasn’t much that could be done. But, she told the crowd, “I’m standing here and there are thousands like me. We are the reasons why new research facilities and research funding are so vitally important.
“While it might take a village to raise a child,” she said, thanking friends, co-workers and strangers for their help in ways big and small, she emphasized how hers was never a solitary battle: “It takes a college community and a city to fight cancer.”
When Jayne finished speaking, she was mobbed by people who wanted to shake her hand, to hug her, to share their own stories, to thank her for her courage.
In the midst of that whirlwind, Jayne caught a glimpse of the breakfast tables. “Pastry and fruit?” she asked, remarking on what everyone else at the medical center apparently chose to overlook or ignore. “That’s no good for low-carb people!”
Our lives have been forever enriched by moments like that one: An unforgettable narrative punctuated by Jayne’s characteristic irony and infectious laughter.
We lost Jayne early in January. She had beaten the odds and proved prognoses wrong so many times that we were shocked, disbelieving the news. We are still.
Jayne Fox joined the Holy Cross library staff in 1995, becoming head of reader services in 1998. Her work involved Web technology, and it became her passion. She moved over to Public Affairs in 2000, serving as the College’s first webmaster. Jayne advocated for resources and staffing as we undertook a major Web site redesign. Jayne was a mentor to younger people, who responded to her dedication, talent, love of pop culture, and expansive (slightly subversive) humor. Her marketing and technology expertise was respected by her colleagues throughout the higher education community. While Jayne’s cancer forced her to take medical leaves, she was, always, committed to helping Holy Cross pursue excellence and advance its goals.
Her determination in the face of her illness was extraordinary. She brought her formidable research skills to her own medical care and advocacy, becoming an expert in treatment options and advising others.
In the style we use for members of the Holy Cross family, Jayne has “P10” appended to her name, identifying her as proud parent of Matthew Fox, Class of 2010. We will never forget her standing before the crowd at UMass, and so we stand with Matt, with Jayne’s beloved family and many friends, and with all those who also know the inside of chemo rooms.