OMAHA, Neb. — 66-year-old Ray Jolly was diagnosed with blood cancer, Myelodysplastic Syndrome, about a year ago. He's experienced six rounds of chemo and needs blood and platelet transfusions about twice a week.
His visits at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center can take several hours. In that time, he's developed a bond with Abbey Lacy. They're both adventure seekers who like to chat about extreme sports.
Recently, Jolly was having a tough week.
"You think the blood is holding up, and then the cancer eats up the blood, the white cells, and then I had to come back," he said. "I was getting just bagged up the whole week."
Ray embodies his last name, Jolly, so Lacy noticed he wasn't his usual self.
"I was down that he was down because it's not typical for him to have kind of a bum attitude. It was like, 'what can I do?'" Lacy said. "I was just sitting at my desk and, lightbulb, I know exactly what I can do."
She called up her friends at Lincoln Sport Parachute Club. Lacy had skydived more than twenty times. Jolly had never been. They set up a day for Jolly to jump.
"I was calm about everything. It was just great. I had no fear. It was just the best feeling in the world," Jolly said.
He has been telling everyone he can't wait to go again.
Lacy admits the job of a nurse can be tough.
"The good is really good, the bad is bad. You definitely take it home, for sure," Lacy said.
She says she tries to "stay positive, keep having fun."
Jolly says this kind of care has made a tremendous difference,
"It's just that hope and faith you hold onto, and then you've got people like Abbey that said, 'oh it's gonna be okay, don't worry," Jolly said.
Jolly said Lacy is now in his will.
This story was originally published by Jennifer Griswold on
in Omaha, Nebraska.