Eau Claire (WQOW) – The UW-Eau Claire community is rallying together after a familiar face suffered a stroke, and their efforts are exceeding expectations.
Faculty, staff and students have grabbed a bite to eat, knowing a friendly face awaited them at the register: campus cashier Jamiee Bowlsby.
"She’s just a joy," said Laura Karker, Regional Manager of Davies Marketplace.
Bowlsby has been a campus cashier for 15 years, easily making more than 1,000 transactions each day; all while touching the hearts of each on of those customers. "She makes us feel really good," said student Grant Singer. "She brightens up our days every day."
Bowlsby is known for remembering her customers by name and spreading encouragement to all who line up to check out. But her register is temporarily empty, because on August 12, Bowlsby felt numbness and a headache, which would later be diagnosed as a stroke. "I was absolutely heartbroken," said Singer.
Singer grabs lunch at the marketplace a lot, and he’s gotten to know Bowlsby, as have many other Blugolds. Bowlsby is currently in recovery. "I went and saw her Wednesday," said Karker. "She’s started physical therapy. She still doesn’t have any use of her left side, but her face is no longer drooping on the left. So, that is positive."
But Karker said Bowlsby has a long road to recovery. So campus members wanted to do something to help.
"One of my colleagues alerted me that we had somebody on our campus who had a stroke and so we got talking about it," said UW-Eau Claire staff member, Jillian Anderson. "And when she told me that it was Jamiee I just got very excited about being involved and trying to help in some way. So, we talked about, ‘Do we send flowers? Do we send around a card?’ We decided that the best way we could help was to come up with some cash."
Anderson started a GoFundMe page, and it took off. Share after share and donation after donation, more than 230 people showed up for Bowlsby, most of them small donations, between $5-$50. The goal was $1,000, but by Friday, nearly $8,000 was raised.
"It’s awesome to see the Eau Claire community really coming together for someone we care so much about," said Singer.
"I hope that her therapy goes swimmingly and that we continue to see her progress and that she’ll join us back here at the campus really soon," said Anderson.
Campus faculty and staff hope Bowlsby makes a full recovery. If she doesn’t, they’ll find a place for her to continue working on campus.
If you want to help, you can donate on Bowlsby’s GoFundMe page.