Jill Vactor Gunzel


Honored By

Honored by: Mackstaller, Lori
Date submitted: October 24, 2006

Jill was raised in Tucson graduating from Palo Verde High School in 1969. She graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors of Science (secondary education) and then received her Masters in Education from the University of Arizona.

She married her high school sweetheart after dating for over 8 years. Steven and Jill have been married for over 31 years as of this date. She has 2 children and 2 grandchildren (who are the light of her life).

Jill has been very interested in Restless Leg Syndrome developing a web site in 1998. She speaks nationally for the RSL Foundation. Through her speaking she has had the opportunity to help many sufferers of RLS become less symptomatic and more functional.

For exercise and relaxation, Jill teaches clogging and has been an invited instructor at national clogging conventions.

Jill has created web sites to give support to people with thyroid cancer and their families. After Jill's mother suffered a major stroke she started a web site addressing living and traveling with stroke survivors.

Jill and her family are facing a major trial. Jill was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. If anyone can beat this disease, it will be Jill.

I have known Jill for almost 30 years. Jill is the most caring, loving woman I have ever met. When her father died of lung cancer, Jill wrote a book about her feelings! When her daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Jill went to work again creating a web site to support other families.

When her mother had a major stroke in Shanghai, Jill and her son flew to her mother's side. Over the next several years Jill created multiple devices to help her mother live independently.

Now Jill and her family are facing the ultimate test. The center of their family, the woman that loves and takes care of everyone else is now facing ovarian cancer herself. When she was given the diagnosis, her words were, "I hope that I can face this gracefully, learning, and fighting all the way."

She is one of the strongest, most loving, and giving and caring women I have ever met. I am proud that she is my friend and family. I honor her every day.-- Lori Mackstaller