A Note about Jane Higa
Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students
Dear friends and families of Westmont,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you about Jane's most recent diagnosis. As some of you knew, Jane had decided to take a one-month leave of absence in hopes of having the time and energy to pursue a more accurate diagnosis of her condition. Those of us who were with her every day recognized she was deteriorating.
Last Thursday, she was finally able to see a physician at UCLA Medical Center. The appointment went well, was very thorough taking about four hours, but the diagnosis is not good. Jane has been told she has ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
There is nothing easy or soft about this diagnosis. It is progressive. There are very few sufficient treatments. The drug therapy is limited to one known and approved drug with others at some level of development in the pipeline.
I was in Phoenix on Friday and Saturday for college-related business and returned to Santa Barbara early Sunday morning. Jane has just left my office after we discussed together how best to communicate this to the college community.
Please be in prayer for Jane, for her family, for her new fiance, Jim Mannoia, and for our entire college community. If you would like to communicate with Jane please do so through her assistant, Tiffany Lobner, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tiffany can then consolidate the messages so that Jane can read them without having to respond to them. Above all, please join us as we pray to God almighty for help and healing.
May God be with you, Dr. Beebe