- Meet Consumers/Patients
Oley Ambassadors are volunteers. Home parenteral and/or enteral nutrition consumers or caregivers themselves, they are available to help you. Drawing on their own personal experiences, they can answer questions, listen, and share. To find an Ambassador who may have the same diagnosis or therapy, is in your area, etc., and to read more about our newest Ambassadors, visit our Oley Ambassador page or call (800) 776-OLEY. Our newest Ambassadors include:
Tina Jackson was born with cerebral palsy, which caused left hemiplegia (paralysis of the arm, leg, and trunk on the left side). She suffered a stroke in 1980 at age twenty-four, which resulted in the loss of the ability to speak and affected her sense of balance. It eventually also affected her ability to eat, and by the age of 44, she was unable to eat without aspirating. At 57, sharing her experiences in the unique lifestyle adjustments she has had make to maintain her independence is one of the things she can offer as an Oley Ambassador, as well as listen to others share their struggles.
Tina earned a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1977 and an associate’s degree in medical records, along with completing an office administrative clerk course, in 1984. She has worked as a social worker, director of medical records, and clerk. Currently, she and her husband, Mark, market a stand designed to make bolus tube feeding more manageable.
Tina is also a volunteer co-organizer of the Appalachian Bike Tour. She has been instrumental in planning and organizing this annual scholarship fund-raiser since 1998. Further, she serves as a member of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Council for Developmental Disabilities.Tina can be reached at email@example.com.
Don says "the most significant [thing in my life] is my forty-three year marriage to my wife, Sandy.” Sandy has been on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) since 1982. "The challenges associated with the evolving technology and treatment has been a gratifying ‘Life’ experience,” says Don.
Don spent forty-plus years working as a technical consultant in the food industry, and has travelled extensively for work. He was elected to the Royal Institute of Public Health, and was recognized for his expertise in water treatment/water quality issues, and food-borne illness associated with commercially processed foods. "I like to think my technical background has enabled me to be a source of support to Sandy,” Don adds.
Don is "a true believer in life-long learning,” and has degrees in psychology, microbiology, administrative studies, environmental studies, and adult education. He is currently pursuing an Honors Degree in Health Studies Policy Management. He and Sandy also enjoy spending time with their two wonderful granddaughters.
"Sandy and I both look forward to establishing a close, collaborative, rewarding, working relationship with Oley,” Don notes. Don lives in Oshawa, Ontario, and is working with health care providers and other homePEN consumers and caregivers to establish a support group in the Toronto area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (905) 579-4737 (Canada).
Colin Waddell was born in Vancouver and has lived in British Columbia for most of his life. Radiation treatments for throat cancer damaged his mouth and throat, and eventually he had to have a PEG tube placed (in November 2012). "Already depressed,” he says, "I moved into despair before discovering Oley. With the direction of Oley staff, several Ambassadors came to my rescue, helping me to realize that tube feeding was not the end of the world.”
Colin is active on the Oley forum. Through his activity there, he says, "I came to understand why the Oley forum is named Inspire.” He continues, "I now live a fairly ‘normal’ life and want to provide help and reassurance to others who may be in similar straits.” Colin can be reached at 9107-98a Ave., Fort St John, BC, Canada V1J 5G8; (250) 787-1504; or email@example.com.