FlipSide Face

FlipSide Face

by Victoria JonesStaff Writer

When things are not going as planned, go ahead and look at life with a “the glass is half full” mind-set. This is librarian Kristi Ellingson’s attitude towards life and her fight against cancer.

Originally from Decorah, Ellingson moved to Alta to become a teacher, and then moved back to Decorah. Her final move to Indianola was in 1986 when her husband took a job as coach for cross country and track and worked in the Physical Education Department at Simpson College. When a position opened in the library Ellingson jumped at the opportunity.

She has worked in her current position as the interlibrary loan manager for 15 years and enjoys the challenge of looking up the books and articles. She also really enjoys helping the students with their projects.

“Sometimes maybe I help them a little too much,” Ellingson said, “There are times when I wish I could grab on to what they are doing and just work with them, but I can’t.”

Ellingson has three daughters, two of whom have continued the family’s involvement at Simpson. The oldest, Jessica, graduated from Simpson in 2008 and now works at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. Catie, is currently a junior at Simpson. Bailey, the youngest Ellingson, is a junior at Indianola High School.

Along with working at Simpson and raising three daughters, Ellingson is also fighting ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed on May 25, 2008, her 51st birthday.

Simpson Media Services Manager, Sheila Allbee, was part of the team “Kristi’s Cohorts” who did a walk for ovarian cancer in Ellingson’s honor.

“She made it easy for her coworkers,” Allbee said. “She never once complained and always had a smile on her face.”

Going through major surgery and two rounds of chemotherapy has not stopped Ellingson. This past July, only a day after a chemotherapy treatment, she ran a road race. She has been taking a break from treatment for the past six weeks.

“I’m a glass half full type of person and tend to find silver linings so this disease is in for a fight,” Ellingson said.