Fund created to help University of Detroit Mercy employee with cancer

Birdie Gardner-Owens has worked at UDM for 14 years, diagnosed with bone cancer


Birdie Gardner-Owens is arguably the most popular person on campus at the University of Detroit Mercy.

She isn't a student or a professor, but rather has worked at the library cafe as a cashier for 14 years. Students savor her life lessons to spread kindest despite your own challenges.

Owens brightens thousands of student's and faculties' lives daily, even while struggling with her own adversities.

In the past year, the woman who brings smiles to everyone she meets, has survived a stabbing and an attempted break-in.

Now her newest fight is against cancer.

A few weeks ago Owens was worried about people breaking into her Detroit home. School carpenter Shawn Dale decided to help.

A collection jar was put out and money was raised to purchase new doors and hardware to secure her home.

"Well it's very tear jerking, I am going to try not to cry. Because I never thought my kids would remember me," said Owens.

Everything was starting to look up for Owens; until she found out she had bone cancer. Owens will start chemotherapy on April 8th and will not be able to return to work.

Dale volunteered his time, along with others, to make the upgrades to Owens' home on Wednesday. A library employee recognized the need to further help Owens, and a new fund has been established.

Her countless campus friends are digging deep, to help the woman many consider a second mom raise money for medical care and lost income.

To help out Birdie go to

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