Something Sweet for the Holidays at Divine Providence Hospital

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WILLIAMSPORT -- A cancer survivor in Lycoming County is giving back this holiday season the best way she knows how -- with ice cream.

Jessica McDermott knows ice cream can make almost any situation a bit sweeter. The owner of the Sunset Ice Cream Shop near Williamsport pushed a cart full of the dessert around to patients inside the cancer center at Divine Providence Hospital.

"It's my favorite thing as a business owner is to give back to the community and to see that I can make people smile," said McDermott.

McDermott knows what it's like to be sick during the holidays. Two years ago, she was a patient at Divine Providence. This is her way of giving back.

"You can never understand their pain unless you've been there, so I've been there. I know how much of a pick-me-up it can be just to have something little throughout the seven hours that you might sit here," said McDermott.

"I'll probably feel sick for Christmas, getting this treatment for Christmas being Sunday, but my whole family is coming to stay," said Maelea Burley of Muncy. "It will be nice. It's going to be nice."

Burley has breast cancer. She is in the room McDermott used while going through chemotherapy two years ago.

"Ever since this happened and everyone has been helping, I feel this urge to give back like always donating or doing something like that. It's awesome. Having cancer and seeing what other people are doing for everyone else is really like that pay it forward kind of thing," Burley said.

Jessica was treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma and is currently in remission. It's part of the reason she plans to come back to Divine Providence each year to make things a bit sweeter, especially around the holidays.

1 Comment

  • JessicaInWilliamsport

    What a wonderful gesture, and I’m sure it’s very appreciated by those going through chemo and the ones there with them for support. I know I enjoyed watching a volunteer massage my mother’s hands when she was getting her infusions. It was one of the things that actually got her to relax for a little while. Kudos to all the wonderful volunteers and nurses who go the extra mile to make those going through a scary illness a bit more comfortable. Thank you.

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