Norwegian American Hospital honors murdered staffer: Candice Dickerson


Nadiya Chaudhary eulogizes as Candice Dickerson's image is on a screen

Shot to death while standing in a Metro PCS store around 8:05 p.m. on April 26, Candice Dickerson was honored by her family, friends and the Norwegian American Hospital (NAH) "family" on Tuesday at the hospital, 1044 N Francisco Ave. 


Jose Sanchez, Norwegian American Hospital's President and CEO

"She was a remarkable young lady," said Jose R. Sanchez, NAH's President and CEO. He went on to describe her as a committed pharmacy technician with a unique ability to lighten up a room when she entered. "Her spirit truly embodied the mission of values of our hospital. Always positive, winning colleagues and patients with a smile and readiness to lend a hand when ever needed." 

In a room filled with hospital staff and friends, Dickerson's sons, mother Sandra Respress-Hamblin and step-father Dwight Hamblin Sr. appeared to be in a dazed state. While her 17 year-old son Jaden Dickerson was not at the scene of shooting, her two youngest, 12-year-old Jacarey McBride and 10-year-old Julien McBride, were. Dickerson, 36, was a single mother.

She began her 14-year career at the hospital as a volunteer, explained her supervisor and mentor Tina Spriggs. She volunteered four to five days a week until a position opened in the pharmacy department three or four months later. Everyone around the department advocated for her being hired, said Spriggs. 


Tina Spriggs, Dickerson's supervisor and mentor

Later she went on to be certified and learned and mastered everything in the department, receiving accolades from her fellow workers. "Not only was she a good worker but she was always on time every day." Spriggs went on to explain that Dickerson was one of the go-to people in the department because everyone knew that she would always follow through with whatever they needed. 

"She was an awesome team player. Candice helped every single person in the department and befriended every single person she came in contact with in the hospital. Everyone knew her and loved her. She is leaving a strong legacy." 


Jaden Dickerson, Julien McBride and Jacarey McBride were greeted by most of the people attending the program

Using humor to fight back tears, Nadiya Chaudhary, clinical pharmacist, said that during various remembrances of Dickerson, one word was continually used to describe her that she had never heard her described, "quiet." Many laughed. 

"Candice was our light, she was loud, she talked to everyone, she made connections with everyone and I am thankful she wasn't. You can look around the room today and you can see how she impacted so many people." 

Chaudhary encouraged everyone present to learn from and practice beautiful traits Dickerson had…positive attitude, appreciation and concern for others. 

"If you didn't know that she was struggling with something, you would think that her life was perfect. She was smiling, asking everyone else how they were doing. She was reaching out to other people. She just had the best positive attitude. 

Sandra Respress-Hamblin and Dwight Hamblin Sr.

Dickerson's parents receive condolences from a staff member

"She was super appreciative. You could do the littlest thing for Candice and she would not only remember it, but try to do something for you as well. 

"She was one of the strongest people I know and she reached out to people, asking others what was happening in their lives, despite what was going on in her life." 

"The loss of this hard working woman is a huge tragic loss for the NAH family," commented Denisse Leon, Vice President of Business Development. "We spent more time with each other than our own families." NAH employs approximately 700. 

"We need to stop the violence," told Our Urban Times. "There are too many people dying unnecessarily in our City. It is time to stand up and say 'enough is enough.' 

"The hospital is partnering with Strides for Peace. On June 6th, the 2019 Race Against Gun Violence program will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Arvey Field, Grant Park." 

People may register here

There are multiple ways to participate in the race: as a runner, sponsor, fundraiser/contributor, volunteer, Community Partner or Affiliate.  100% of charitable contributions are distributed to nonprofit organizations dedicated to reducing gun violence.


Many in the audience were visibly shaken



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