Coxsackie Nurse & Firefighter a ‘Hometown Hero’
There are few things Jennifer McKeon, of Coxsackie, does not do.
By day, McKeon works as a nurse at a pain clinic in Clifton Park and at night she teaches phlebotomy students. In between, she volunteers as a firefighter and also finds time for her three children and one grandson.
After her grandson was born with a congenital malformation and several other diseases, McKeon was inspired to organize a blood drive to potentially help other patients who suffer from similar illnesses. In that effort, she helped collect enough blood to help 96 patients.
As part of the “Hometown Heroes” series, we’ve partnered with County Waste and Latham Ford to celebrate local unsung heroes for their good deeds and honorable work.
We asked McKeon a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: What inspires you, as a nurse and volunteer firefighter?
A: When I was five we lost our house and all of our possessions in a fire that, turn of events, inspired me to become a volunteer firefighter. I served as president of DM Hamilton steamer company No. 2 in Coxsackie for two years.
I always wanted to be a state trooper growing up, but my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when I was 12 and taking care of her brought me into nursing. I feel it was my destiny.
Q: What's the most rewarding thing about what you do?
A: Knowing that no matter what problems people face, that you can make a difference and help them is inspiring. My first grandchild was diagnosed in utero with health issues. He had a condition called a CCAM. I organized a benefit concert with Skeeter Creek to help our family with the financial issues of traveling back and forth to Philadelphia to the children's hospital. When he was born, he also was diagnosed with Down syndrome and leukemia. He had seven blood transfusions while in the NICCU so I organized a blood drive at my firehouse to give back to those that may need it one day and we collected enough blood to potentially save 96 lives.
Q: What are some challenges?
A: It has been one rough ride, but I have stood by my daughter's side staying at hotels and the Ronald McDonald house.
Q: Do you consider yourself a "hero?" Why or why not?
A: If you ask me she's [my daughter's] the hero. Not me.