- Meet Consumers/Patients
Preserving Oley’s Future through the Horizon Society
Ensuring the survival of the Oley Foundation was an important goal for Kathleen McInnes. Oley was a critical source of information and community for herself and many others. So after her friend and support group leader, Pat Gordon, passed away, she was inspired to make a bequest to the Oley Foundation’s Horizon Society.
Kathleen was on J-tube feedings for almost two decades. She had gastroparesis, pseudo-obstruction and multiple sclerosis, but she did not let her illnesses, limited mobility, or vision prevent her from being active in Oley.
She was a Regional Coordinator and co-led the Chicago Pumpers support group. She helped plan the 2001 Oley Conference in Milwaukee, and attended several others. In addition, she and her husband Larry staffed the Oley booth at clinician meetings, and she and a fellow support group member spoke on tube feeding issues with students at a Chicago nursing school.
Kathleen was a giver. She helped Oley members who had trouble adjusting to their tube or to not eating by mouth. She had a wonderful way with words that put others at ease, and always wore a big smile on her face. For her courage and outstanding volunteer efforts, Kathleen won Oley’s Mead Johnson Enteral Award in 2001.
Larry, Kathleen’s husband, says their first Oley conference made a huge impression on them. They found a new portable pump on display whose features would allow Kathleen to have a better quality of life. “The first thing we did when we returned home was to call our home care company to request the pump.” As he recalls, it took a little convincing, but “they came around.”
Kathleen passed away in March of 2012 at the age of 67. She is survived by Larry, their two children, and daughter-in-law; and missed by the Oley community she worked so hard to build and continues to support through her bequest.
A list of Oley Foundation Horizon Society members and information on the many ways you can make a lasting gift is available on our bequest page or by calling Joan Bishop or Roslyn Dahl at (800) 776-OLEY. We hope you will join us in preserving Oley’s future for the next generation and beyond.
LifelineLetter, March/April 2014