In Memoriam: Don Freeman and Judi Erwin
Friday, May 1, 2015
Posted by: Andrea Guidi
The following memorials were written by Meshal Samadzada, Oley Administrative Support Specialist.
Don Freeman, a long-time Oley member and former board member and Oley Ambassador, passed away on February 18, 2015. Don would have been 73 on May 21. After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was fifteen years old, Don underwent numerous surgeries and resections. Ultimately, he was placed on parenteral nutrition (PN). In 1982, he was one of the first patients in Canada—and the first in Ottawa—to be sent home on PN.
Don had a long history with the Oley Foundation. He came to the first annual conference, thirty years ago, in Saratoga Springs, New York. Don served on the Board of Trustees, as an Oley Ambassador, and on conference and LifelineLetter Advisory committees, and contributed photographs, helpful tips, and articles to the LifelineLetter. In 2002, Don was awarded Oley’s LifelineLetter Award. Don was also instrumental in establishing Oley’s Horizon Society, which helps ensure Oley’s financial future and now has 68 members.
A lifelong adventurer, Don traveled extensively in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He loved sports, included skiing, curling, and golf. Don also volunteered as a coach, scout leader, and curling manager, and on ski patrol. His family writes, "Don never let his medical needs get in the way of a fulfilling life. He travelled and skied across North America and Europe, creating wonderful memories with his son.”
Judi Erwin, an Oley Ambassador, passed away on December 18, 2014. Judi first learned of the Oley Foundation a few years ago, following a radical emergency surgery in 2009 that left her dependent on HPN. She and her husband, James, had only recently become Oley Ambassadors. Judi said she felt "it was a small way of showing appreciation for the wealth of information” she had learned through Oley. Judi was always eager to lend a helping hand to fellow HPN consumers seeking support.
Don and Judi will both be greatly missed. Their commitment to Oley and its members was invaluable.
LifelineLetter, May/June 2015