Kristina M. “Tina” Jackson was strong as she battled chronic medical conditions for the past decade.
“She fought until she couldn’t fight any more,” sister Dawn Czekala said. “The days she was not feeling good, she still tried to be brave doing things, packing a picnic basket, going to the beach, going to a Cubs game. She tried to enjoy the good moments with her daughter.”
After attending Purdue University and Medical Careers Institute in Chicago with Czekala, Jackson and her sister became neurodiagnostic technicians.
"We have gotten each other jobs over the years,” Czekala said. “Our specialties were very different; she was much more on the technical end, and I am the emotional one.”
They worked together, sharing stories and experiences. After working at Child Neurology, Porter Health Systems and Compumedics, Jackson was most recently employed at Neurology Associates of Northwest Indiana.
“She loved the job,” Czekala said.
Jackson, 41, of Crown Point, was an organ donor.
“She would want everyone to be an organ donor,” Czekala said.
While working in a hospital, both of them encouraged patients to participate in the Gift of Life donor program, she said.
Family was most important to Jackson, who was devoted to her siblings, her 13-year-old daughter, Shannon, and her parents, Peter and Elena Danilaitis.
“Even during times when she was sick, she always tried to make time for family at holidays and the Fourth of July parade,” Czekala said.
A fund has been set up for Jackson’s daughter, who was born on her birthday. Donations may be made at any First Midwest Bank branch.
Most of all, Czekala said, she will miss her only sister’s fun personality and quick wit.
“Even days when I was feeling iffy, even if she was feeling bad, she would always try to pull you out of your funk,” Czekala said.