Jill and Eddie Champagne of Gulfport, Mississippi first started their cancer journey in 2012 when Jill was diagnosed with breast cancer. After Jill’s initial diagnosis, the Champagne’s decided to travel to Houston for a second opinion and her treatment. While in Houston, they found shelter at the St. Dominic Archdiocese of Houston and were blessed to attend mass every morning of their stay. By 2014, Jill’s cancer was in remission and she and Eddie were able to carry on with their very full lives.
Unfortunately, in June 2020, Jill became fatigued and decided to have some bloodwork done. The next day she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) which was caused from her breast cancer treatments seven years prior. “It was like a rollercoaster”, said Jill, and they soon packed their bags and headed to Houston since they knew that was her best option for treatment.
Jill spent 28 days in the hospital for in-patient treatment and because of COVID, Eddie was not allowed to be in the hospital with her. Until this hospital stay, Jill and Eddie had never spent more than 3 days apart in their 32 years together! Nearing the end of her in-patient stay, Jill & Eddie received the much-anticipated call from Halo House that there was an apartment available for them. Jill was preparing for her allogenic stem cell transplant when they moved in and thankfully, she was blessed with over 170 matches! On October 6th, Jill received her new donor cells from a 30-year-old male donor whom she now considers her hero! She was released from the hospital and allowed to come home to Halo House after only 14 days post-transplant and the Champagne’s are so grateful they can be together in such a safe and clean environment. Their favorite things about their home away from home at Halo House is the kitchen, the washing machine, and the dryer!
Eddie is a huge help at Halo House as an acting Resident Manager where he assists with any easy-to-fix maintenance issues or after-hours emergencies. He is such a fun and positive person and there is no doubt that Jill is in amazing care. Eddie emphasizes to anyone he can how important it is to come to Houston and get a second opinion from MD Anderson. Jill firmly believes that it is God, her mind, and the doctors all working together to get her healthy again.