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Remembering Don Young

Monday, January 9, 2017   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Cathy Harrington
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Remembering Don Young, Oley Pillar and Beloved Friend

 
 

 Don Young at the 2005 Oley Picnic

 

It is with a heavy heart that Oley staff pass along this news.  There are no words to express the void he leaves!

 

We invite you to keep Don’s family in your prayers.  Remember to live life to the fullest as Don would want us to and share a story or joke with each other via email or on the Oley Foundation FB page.  Don would love that!!!

 

Don Young, founding Oley board member, former Oley president, long-time home parenteral nutrition patient advocate and “face of hope” in the Oley community, died peacefully, in the presence of family, January 6, 2017.

 

 Don was a pioneer from the early days of home parenteral nutrition (HPN). He participated in some of the original studies on vitamin deficiency and contributed his patient perspective in the development of new products, including portable pumps. He was an incredibly strong man, enduring Crohn’s disease and many surgeries and sustaining himself on HPN for almost 42 years with 12 inches of small bowel. Through it all he continued to work his family’s land, growing hay and harvesting firewood.

 

 Don was always humble, always warm, always willing to lend an ear and share an experience. He was compassionate and had an easy manner that made it easy for him to make friends with everyone. Don enjoyed telling stories and jokes. He’d light up with a smile whenever he saw you.

 

 Don took great pride in his children and grandchildren. Baseball was his other love, and if you didn’t know the Boston Red Sox were his team within five minutes of meeting him, you weren’t paying attention. 

 

 He gave back to his community, coaching girls’ softball and, of course, serving as a president and volunteer extraordinaire for the Oley Foundation. He was always ready to share his opinion in an attempt to improve care for others. One of Don’s remarkable contributions was his constant reminder that it is important to keep the patient/consumer’s desire to “live life” as the centerpiece of everything that is done. He was an advocate of allowing the HPN to support living life and not controlling it.  This was especially helpful for those who were beginning their journey on HPN.

 

 Don was honored along with Oley Co-Founder, Dr. Lyn Howard, in 1999 with the naming of the Albany Medical Center Howard Young Chair in Nutrition.

In 2015, we celebrated Don’s fortieth anniversary on HPN. In an interview with a reporter from the Albany Times Union on the occasion, Don referred to HPN as a gift. His original wish, he said, was to watch his youngest son, then four, receive his high school diploma. He did that, and then watched several grandchildren graduate as well. Don told the reporter, “I got way more than I bargained for.”

 

 Recently, complications from Crohn’s disease had contributed to an unbearable situation for Don. After discussions with family and his medical team, Don made the decision to turn his care over to hospice. 

 

 Don continues to be a pillar for the Oley family. His company will be sorely missed, but his legacy will never be forgotten. 

Comments...

Ron Marshall says...
Posted Thursday, March 2, 2017
When I first went on TPN in 2008 I spoke with Don for over an hour. He provided me with a of information for which I was eternally grateful. A big Red Sox fan like me, we also talked baseball for a long time. He was a true gentleman and a compassionate soul. He will be missed by the entire community.

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This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.

 

Updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. 

 

This website was updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.
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