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Coming Full Circle: A Journey of Giving and Receiving Within the Shaw Community

When Debbie King Ford was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to turn her journey into a positive experience by giving to the Shaw community. After her second cancer diagnosis, she realized that the community was now there to give back to her.

Away From Home

Debbie King Ford recalls the devastation and loneliness she experienced after her first diagnosis of cancer. At the time, the Shaw Cancer Center had yet to be completed—forcing her to receive treatment in Denver.

“The last day I had radiation, I got in my car in Denver and drove straight up to Vail and broke down in tears. I was so happy to be back in my Vail Valley,” Debbie describes.

Creating Jack’s Place

Debbie was determined to not let negative events in her life affect her. Instead, she turned her cancer journey into a very positive experience by becoming a board member of the Shaw Outreach Team. Through the team’s efforts, enough money was raised to build the Cancer Caring House, which is now Jack’s Place.

Jack’s Place provides a comfortable home away from home to those that would otherwise be unable to afford a place to stay while receiving their cancer treatments at Shaw.

A Journey Traveled Together

Fourteen years later, Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer again. Except this time, she was able to stay in Vail. 

“As I was going through my treatment, I never felt like I was going to a medical facility, that sounds so impersonal. We were all in this together, “ Debbie says, “I can’t imagine somebody else going through that process without doctors and nurses that you feel like are your family and your friends.”

“I cannot put into words what it means to be able to stay home and have the level of treatment that I had when I was here at the Shaw.”
Debbie King Ford

Help ensure that patients like Debbie continue to receive state-of-the-art cancer care right at home, in Vail.


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