Alumni Showcase: A Morningside connection helps make a potentially life-saving surgery possible

Aug 12, 2021 • Alumni, Alumni Showcase

Morningsiders look out for other Morningsiders, no matter the distance or the time that has passed.

That fact was recently exemplified when Grant Wittstruck ’08 of Panama City, Fla., took to social media after the colon removal surgery his mother, Jac E. Chace, had been scheduled for was canceled. His mother had needed the surgery to begin immediate treatment for colon cancer, but the hospital in Florida was forced to cancel it indefinitely because it had been overrun by COVID-19 patients.

Frustrated by the fact his mother couldn’t get the life-saving surgery she needs, Grant took to Facebook to share his story. Fellow Morningsider Jenna Rehnstrom-Liberto ’06 was among those to see his post. Jenna is a marketing manager for MercyOne of Siouxland and quickly encouraged Grant to bring his mom to Sioux City to have her surgery under the care of Dr. Larry Volz. Grant was able to connect with Volz, and Volz was able to schedule the surgery for this Friday, Aug. 13. Grant, his mom, and his dad Dr. John Wittstruck ’64 were able to fly to Sioux City on Wednesday, Aug. 11, and are awaiting surgery while Grant’s wife Brandi (Shipler) Wittsruck ’07 holds down the fort for their family back in Florida.

Grant and Jenna’s story is not only a testament to the power of the Morningside community and one more reason to be #MSIDEPROUD, but Grant and his family have also used their story to help encourage others to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Our well wishes to Grant’s mom Jac E. Chace and the Wittstruck family. Your Morningside family will be sending you prayers and positivity.