The Women in the Picture: A Narrative of Three Uncommon Women



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THE WOMEN IN THE PICTURE: A NARRATIVE OF THREE UNCOMMON WOMEN Nancie Hazell This project is a triptych of narratives illustrating the lives of the three women who most influenced my life: my aunt, my mother, and my best friend. These women not only inspired my life choices, but serve as examples of what any woman can accomplish. Helen Snooker Hamilton grew up in suburban Philadelphia. Although she was a nationally ranked amateur tennis player, she followed in her older sister s footsteps when she decided to become a nurse. She moved far from her home and became the school nurse for Seabury Hall, a newly formed Episcopal boarding school on the island of Maui. During her tenure, Snooker furthered her nursing education, becoming the first Nurse Practitioner in the state of Hawaii. Although she was intelligent and dedicated, Snooker was most known for her vibrant and unique personality. Bettyann (Hamilton) Hazell began having epileptic seizures when she was seventeen years old. Diagnosed during the 1950s, Betty began a battle against her disease and social perceptions of epilepsy. After learning to recognize and control her disease, Betty became a nurse. In an era that encouraged women to become housewives, Betty built her career as well as a family. Rising through male-dominated hospital administrations, she reached the highest levels of hospital management. In her sixties, Betty challenged a hospital corporation s age discrimination and won. She continued to work twelve hour days into her seventies, hired for her last position at the age of seventy-four. Melissa Patterson struggled with an extremely rare form of cancer; Chordoma. Chordoma is a little understood cancer. It is relentless and fatal. A young mother at the time of her diagnosis, Melissa fought to survive and raise her son, Christopher. She became her own advocate, using creativity and open-mindedness to seek out alternative cures and treatments. Melissa did everything on her own terms and never gave up hope. Her indomitable will helped her remain active nearly two years past the average survival term of her cancer.