Local 1st to complete program

Published 12:01 am Friday, April 27, 2012

Opp’s Brittany Jackson will become the first person from Covington County to complete his or her radiation therapy clinical at 21st Century Oncology.

Jackson, a 2008 graduate of Opp High School, went on to earn a degree in X-ray technology from Wallace Community College in Dothan.

She started her one-year radiation therapy program in August 2011 and will complete the program in July. Jackson is enrolled in an online program through Wasburn University, she said.

“My family works in the medical field,” she said. “So, I started to look at different avenues. I did volunteering and shadowing at the cancer center when it was in Opp.”

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells using X-rays, gamma rays and charged particles.

About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy at sometime during the course of their treatment.

“I love the patients and the atmosphere,” she said. “It’s nice to be around the people here. I’ve always wanted to be in medicine. I have Type I diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was 12 and my mom took me to the doctor often.”

Jackson said she spent a lot of time praying about her decision to become a radiation therapist.

“I believe it’s a field God can use me in,” she said. “Here, we get to see people from the beginning. Some come in and can’t breathe or can’t walk, but we get to help them get better. These patients also know how to seize the moment. I learn more from them than the textbooks.”

Jackson is married to Opp Middle School English teacher Tanner Jackson and is the daughter of Angie Boyd and Joseph Boyd.