LODI, NJ. — Between open heart surgery, cervical cancer and lymphedema, Lodi's Joann "Mama Jo" Ibach Pernice can't catch a break.
The Lodi resident has become a surrogate mother for many in the community, according to a GoFundMe started in her name.
"Mama Jo is a loving, selfless person who always put everyone else first and continues to do so which is completely remarkable under her circumstances," it said.
"This our time to give back to her."
Previously a 911 dispatcher for the area, Pernice started developing medical problems in 2013. Her declining health has made it difficult for her to continue working, the GoFundMe states.
More than $1,000 had been raised for her as of Wednesday afternoon.