- Meet Consumers/Patients
|2003 Oley Award and Scholarship Winners|
LifelineLetter Annual Award
Mildred & Isaac Weaver
Diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease, Mildred & Issac’s youngest child, Beatrice, has been on HomePEN since she was a baby. They have gone to great lengths to find the right care for Beatrice, overcoming issues of geographic and social isolation. In addition to facing the challenges of Beatrice’s care, the Weavers have raised seven other children; yet, they are never too busy to help others. Time and again they have shared their experiences in administering HomePEN, adjusting between TPN and EN, and caring for a child with an ostomy. They have also shared their concerns about access, and methods they’ve developed for caring for Beatrice. Mildred and Issac offer support and encouragement to anyone who asks. No matter what the crisis is, they handle it quietly and with dignity. Their calm, gentle nature is more than impressive, it works wonders. We hope that all Oley members have the opportunity to reflect on the Weaver’s special quality and can carry some of it with them through their next crisis.
Mead Johnson Enteral Award
Linda has been on both TPN and enteral feeds since she was diagnosed many years ago with Hollow Visceral Myopathy — a motility disorder. Her positive attitude has helped her overcome her struggles with chronic illness and a demanding, full life. She was widowed very young, and has raised her two adopted children, Emily and Dan, in addition to caring for her elderly mother and working as a nurse. Linda is bright and enjoys the challenge of researching treatment options and then educating her peers and clinicians. She is very understanding of others and willing to help anyone in need. Linda may feel shy at times, but even at her first Oley conference, she went out of her way to share her experience with others and make them feel at home. If you are lucky enough to have met her, you will know you have gained a friend for life. She’ll be there for you through all of the ups and downs. As the friend who nominated her so aptly put it, “Linda doesn’t deserve the Mead Johnson Enteral Award because she has endured a tough life; she deserves it because she is a decent, selfless, caring person.” Congratulations, Linda!
Lenore Heaphey Grassroots Education Award
Robin has supported HomePEN consumers through thick and thin, for as long as she has been on the therapy. She was one of the original “Regional Coordinators” organized by the Koonins that formed the grassroots volunteer network for the Oley Foundation. Despite her condition and the demands of TPN, Robin has worked, raised a child (single handedly) and volunteered for Oley and her church. When Robin has faced setbacks in her health, she has had a healthy response — mourn the loss, learn about the treatment options, and comply to the best of her ability. What makes her so special, is her next step: sharing what she has learned with fellow consumers to help them overcome their struggles. Robin has counseled dozens of consumers by phone and in personal visits, and has been a big supporter of Oley’s toll-free lines. She makes an effort to be there for consumers whenever and wherever she is needed, regularly attending regional Oley functions and visiting sick patients as far as 200 miles from her home. This year, Robin has put in countless hours helping to organize the Oley conference. I’m sure everyone is grateful for her efforts. Thank you Robin for your outstanding dedication.
Oley Foundation Young Adult / Child of the Year
Megan has lived through the many ups and downs of pseudo-obstruction and malabsorption since birth. The past two years have been especially difficult, with seven surgeries, a year in the hospital, pain and a new life threatening diagnosis. When she finally got out of the hospital, Megan couldn’t even get around without the aid of a wheelchair or walker. Despite these major setbacks, she graduated on time this May, at the top of her class. Megan isn’t someone to wallow in her condition. She is quick to lend an ear to friends, and will explain her disease and therapy to others, but prefers no show of sympathy. Megan has relearned how to walk this year, with a stride that will carry her not only to college in the fall but down the difficult road that still lies ahead. We admire your style Megan!
Diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease, 10 year old Beatrice relies on TPN, EN and has an ostomy. Like other children on homePEN, she has experienced many difficulties with her disease and care: in particular with IV access. She has developed a courageous and caring attitude to get through these struggles. Many of you know that Beatrice has enjoyed most Oley conferences since she was a baby in 1991. Even though she couldn’t make it to Salt Lake last year, Beatrice cross-stitched a quilt for the Oley auction. Beatrice has touched the lives of many in the homePEN community. She reaches out with visits and keeps a steady flow of beautiful, long letters going to consumers all over the country. Thus, it is not surprising that four individuals nominated her for this award. Her HPN supply driver wrote, “Even on Bea’s sick days, she always has a smile for me.” May her ability to look on the bright side be an inspiration for us all!