Jacki Donaldson always wanted to be a writer, and that is why she studied magazine journalism as an undergrad at Kent State University, near her hometown in Ohio. She veered away from her major, though, after becoming a Resident Assistant (RA) and realizing that building community among a bunch of college students living on campus was a pretty exciting gig. She liked programming for the residents, mediating roommate conflicts, and although "writing up" students for noise and alcohol violations was not the best part of the job, the whole package was so appealing, it led her right into grad school at the University of Florida, where she earned a Master of Education with a focus on Higher Education Administration and College Student Personnel—kind of a blend of counseling, crisis management, and paperwork.
Jacki spent seven years in professional college and university jobs in Virginia and Florida, living with her husband in campus apartments, responding to the needs of the masses, and documenting and making sense of every speck of what went on. Then came two kids, a move to the Florida suburbs, a few years as a stay-at-home mom, and then the big whammy: breast cancer at the age of 34. It wasn't the worst thing that could happen, though, because after a year and a half of blogging about her journey, she was "discovered" by the lead blogger at AOL's The Cancer Blog. And so was born the writing career, 18 years after she first declared that journalism major.
Jacki wrote for The Cancer Blog from May 2006 until April 2007. Then she moved over to a sister site, That's Fit (May 2007-October 2009), where she had the pleasure of serving as blogger, lead blogger, and then Assistant Blog Editor. She has also worked on projects for AOL's StyleList, and she serves as Community Associate for Seed.com (another AOL venture).
Jacki currently keeps busy editing, blogging, and writing about breast cancer for various publications. Her most-prized possession: a story that ran in Family Circle in September 2008. Her most recent story appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Coping With Cancer magazine.
Jacki lives in Gainesville, Fla. with sons Joey (13) and Danny (10) and husband John, an information technology guy. Jacki's non-writing passions include trying to eat right and stay fit (she conquered her first 1/2 marathon in February 2010), tagging along on as many boy adventures as possible, and enjoying every cancer-free moment along the way.