Fun in the Sun: How One Patient and Her Family Are Going to the Beach


It wasn’t long ago – just over two years – when Talannia Jones was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Ms. Jones never became just a cancer patient, though; she was a Mother, first and foremost, and the care of her three lovely daughters, ages 5 to 13, always came before any of her own concerns.

Over two years of IV chemo treatments would be a trying experience for just about anyone, but Ms. Jones has never let her diagnosis get in the way of her life and her responsibility for her girls. During her stay here at Alabama Oncology, she has been a model patient, a brave woman, and a strong pillar for her children.

In fact, one of her biggest desires – far beyond anything for herself – was to take her children to the beach for a blissful weekend away from the stress of her treatments. She said “I just want to put my feet in the water and watch my girls play in the sand”.

We decided that if she wants a beach trip, it’s a beach trip she’ll get.

Bobbie Parks, the clinical research coordinator at our Trinity clinic, decided to help. She contacted the Panama City Chamber of Commerce to arrange a special trip for Ms. Jones and her girls. After much planning and preparation – completely unknown to Ms. Jones and her family – we were able to share the good news with a surprise announcement and tropical-themed party at the clinic at the end of June. We let her know that she and her girls would get to step away from it all and into a world of fun and relaxation that they all very much deserved.

Toward the end of July, Ms. Jones, her husband and her children will travel to Panama City Beach for a three-night stay in a luxury beachfront condo courtesy of the Emerald View Resort. They will enjoy everything there is to do and see at the beach, from sunset cruises to a Shell Island dolphin tour. They’ll enjoy seeing wildlife in person at the Gulf World Marine Park. They’ll have the freedom and opportunity to explore. They’ll eat great seafood and catch the sun as it sets over the harbor – but best of all she will get her wish to put her feet in the water and watch her girls play in the sand as she savors this time with her family.

We’re thankful for our patients like Ms. Jones and for the folks at the Panama City Chamber of Commerce for helping make this dream a reality. The best we can do as people, when coping with cancer, is to make the most of each and every day. Thanks to a few kind gestures, Ms. Talannia Jones and her family can experience something truly wonderful: time together in sunny Florida.