Cancer victim celebrates birthday by giving back

Beverly Jung stands with her birthday cake. Rather than receive gifts, Jung asked guests to donate school supplies and shoes. Photo / Courtesy02

MUSTANG — In September, Beverly Jung celebrated her birthday by giving back to a cause that is close to her heart.
Jung, who lives in Mustang, was diagnosed in December 2017 with a rare form of melanoma that resulted in one of her eyes being removed. She underwent immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation while fighting the cancer, but in August Jung’s oncologist suggested stopping treatment.
“The type of cancer I have is so rare – something like five in a million people might get it – that the doctors don’t know a whole lot about it,” Jung said.
It was then that doctors estimated Jung had about six months left to live.
So, when Jung’s September birthday approached, she decided to use the occasion to give back to those less fortunate than herself.
She chose a group of people close to her heart: children.
“Since I was thinking that I’ll be gone at the end of February, I was talking to my family, and we came up with the idea of donating school supplies,” Jung said. “I have three teachers in my family, and I can’t tell you how much time and money they have spent on supplies they’ve had to buy for their kids, knowing the kids can’t afford it.”
Jung’s love of children stemmed from the years she spent teaching preschool and kindergarten-aged Sunday school classes.
For awhile she considered becoming a teacher herself, but she settled instead on a career in television, scheduling program and commercial dates.
She retired in 2018.
On the invitation to Jung’s birthday celebration, she asked for guests to bring school supplies and shoes for school-aged children.
The result was unexpected: guests donated so many supplies that Jung was able to take two large boxes of supplies to Mustang Public Schools’ administration building, one large box to Yukon’s administration building and a large box to another school.
“Some people weren’t able to go out and buy supplies, so we got gift cards and gave them to another school,” Jung said.
Shoes, too, came in droves.
“A lady who goes to my church will take care of distributing the shoes,” Jung said. “We got almost 100 pairs of shoes.”
Despite the immense response, Jung said she wishes she could do more.
“I don’t feel like I’ve made an impact – really, I did nothing; the community came together and did that,” she said. “I wish there was more I could do to help teachers and kids. I know it’s a struggle for them, especially with the way things are going today. It’s not easy anymore. But kids are our future, so somebody needs to help take care of them.”

1 Comment

  1. Betty Sackett on November 2, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    A sweet story about a sweet friend of ours.

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