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2018 Oley Award and Scholarship Winners
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2018 Oley Awards and Scholarship Winners

Please do not contact winners or nominees for solicitation, marketing, or research purposes.


LifelineLetter Award, HPN


Kristi Roach

Sponsored by Nutrishare, Inc., Silver Circle Partner

Kristi Roach


This award is given to a person who has been a home parenteral nutrition (HPN, or IV nutrition) consumer for one year or longer, or his or her caregiver, who demonstrates courage, perseverance, a positive attitude in dealing with illness or caregiving, and exceptional generosity in helping others in their struggle with HPN.

Kristi Roach’s perseverance and positive attitude have allowed her to not only overcome the challenges of her disease, but to continue to grow and thrive. In 2012 Kristi started on home enteral nutrition (HEN) due to severe gastroparesis. By 2014 she was no longer able to tolerate her enteral feedings and began on home parenteral nutrition (HPN). Kristi refused to allow this to hinder her lifestyle. Despite her illness, hospitalizations, and discouragement from her instructors, Kristi continued her nursing education. She was determined to do something that would make a difference in the lives of others.

Kristi not only reached her goal of completing her education—she graduated on time. She is now a registered nurse in a cardiac unit. She feels her personal health experiences with central lines and feeding tubes have given her unique insight into her patients, unparalleled by other nurses. Her nursing schedule can be physically demanding, but Kristi has met that challenge head on.

 

Kristi remains selfless with her time, always giving to others in hopes of improving their lives. She is an active resource on social media for others diagnosed with gastroparesis and those who are HPN dependent. She loves hiking and being outdoors, and feels spending time with nature is very relaxing and a perfect way to relieve stress. Her love of the outdoors combined with a passion for running helped motivate her to finish her first half marathon last fall. Kristi is a true testament that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

 

Congratulations to the nominees:

Mariah Abercrombie; Michelle Barford; Tiffany Dodd; Brenda Gray; Saira Grisales; Debbie Hansard; Sean May; Hayley Miller; Linda Psomas; Sara Ringer; Vicky Sedano; Samantha Smith; Tammi Stillion




LifelineLetter Award, HEN


Jennifer Dunegan

Sponsored by Kate Farms

Jennifer Dunegan

 

This award is given to a person who has been a home enteral nutrition (HEN, or tube feeding) consumer for one year or longer, or his or her caregiver, who demonstrates courage, perseverance, a positive attitude in dealing with illness or caregiving, and exceptional generosity in helping others in their struggle with HEN.

 

Jennifer Dunegan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and food allergies at birth. She was weaned from HEN when she was three years old, but she has continued to experience feeding issues throughout her life. In 2014, Jennifer received a diagnosis of gastroparesis, and, due to complications, she was placed on parenteral nutrition (PN) for a period before being placed on HEN again last year.

 

Jennifer has faced the challenges associated with her medical conditions and HEN with a positive attitude and willingness to help others. She and her husband founded the non-profit organization Gastroparesis Support Services, Inc. (GSSI), which supports individuals who are undergoing testing and treatment for gastroparesis. Jennifer provides support, resources and information, including information about the Oley Foundation.

 

Jennifer believes we need to find effective methods to educate medical professionals about gastroparesis. One of her goals is to educate emergency doctors about her condition.

Jennifer is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts, having received the Gold Award. She was also named a Kentucky Colonel, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky in recognition of an individual’s noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to the community, state, and nation. Jennifer’s selfless generosity has enriched the lives of many.

 

Congratulations to the nominees:

Sarah Dame; Brittany Detrick; Melea Hart*; Nina Marino; Ellen Meade

*We are sorry to share that Melea Hart has passed away since she was nominated for the LifelineLetter, HEN, and Celebration of Life Awards.



Celebration of Life


Lauren Hood

 

Sponsored by ThriveRx, Gold Medallion Partner

Lauren Hood

 

This award recognizes someone who has been on parenteral and/or enteral nutrition for three years or longer and who lives life to the fullest (traveling, fishing, gardening, volunteering, attending school, spending time with family, etc.).

 

Lauren Hood epitomizes living life to the fullest. She has been dependent on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) her entire twenty-four years of life and she has never let that stop her from pursuing her dreams. Lauren has had fifty-one surgeries since she was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease at two days old. Lauren went to school, played soccer and softball in high school, and is now working full-time in her dream job as a pediatric intensive care nurse.

 

She has used all her experience from being a child with medical issues and HPN dependency to excel in her caring and connection with patients and their families. Lauren loves her work and is very passionate about her patients and families.

 

Lauren also has a full and active life outside of her career. She is happily married to her best friend, Kyle, and says she is so thankful to have such a supportive husband. She loves “doing life with him” (from traveling, to doing grocery shopping), and says when she is in the hospital, he is her biggest advocate. Lauren and Kyle recently visited St. Lucia in the Caribbean where they went four-wheeling in the rainforest and snorkeling in the ocean. Lauren is also an avid runner. She completed her first half marathon in December.

 

Lauren is very close to her family and says that her village has helped her excel and live such a full life. She enjoys connecting with families with children who have an ostomy and/or are HPN dependent to help show them they can still live a full life and follow their dreams.

 

Congratulations to the nominees:

Tyler Ashcroft; Jenna Banville; Gunner Bowlin; Matthew Cech; Lauren Ethridge; Brenda Gray; Melea Hart*; Nina Marino; Sean May; Ellen Meade; Hayley Miller; Sally Moore; Sharon Rose; Tammi Stillion

 


Child of the Year Award

 
Alex Beckwith

Alex Beckwith

 

This award is given to a youth who has been a home parenteral and/or enteral nutrition consumer for one year or longer and who shows a positive attitude in dealing with illness and therapy which encourages and inspires others.

 

Alex Beckwith’s journey through life has been filled with doctors, hospitals, surgeries, tubes…G-tube, J-tube, and central lines. Through it all he has remained an encouragement to everyone around him. Shortly after he turned three years old, Alex was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease. He is dependent on home parenteral nutrition (HPN), yet he continues to inspire others with his joy for life and desire to give back.

 

Alex is the 2018 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for Cook Children’s. He represents them by speaking and attending kickoffs, campaigning, and helping bring awareness to their hospital. He has raised money for the Extra Life program and spoken for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.

 

Alex enjoys playing video games, golf, theater, and volunteering with church, and is also a Boy Scout. He plays the violin, takes an acting class, is part of an improv group, and participates in a theater workshop each summer. This year he was Bert Healy in Annie, Jr. Above all, Alex is an amazing big brother and mentor to his sister, who also suffers from mitochondrial disease and relies on home enteral nutrition (HEN, or tube feeding). Alex’s courage, strength, and determination are apparent in everything he does.

 

Alex’s mom says, “I do not know anyone who exhibits more courage on a daily basis. Despite his life-threatening illness, almost forty doses of medication, and chronic pain, Alex lives every day to the fullest.” 

 

Congratulations to the nominees:

Tyler Ashcroft; Gunner Bowlin; Alejandra Castellanos; Matthew Cech; Zachary Daugherty; Emma Dean; Olivia DeKold; Evelyn Delmenico; Hope Knight; Ansley McCormick; Ma

ddie Morris; Alexander Mounayar; Melody Purkey; Kinzi Schneider; Michael Smith; Sydney Zimmerman

 


Innovator/Advocator Award


Sarah Palya

 

Sarah Palya


This award is given to a home parenteral or enteral nutrition consumer or caregiver of any age who sets an example by promoting innovation in nutrition therapy or by advocating for themselves or someone in their care.

 

Sarah Palya’s inspiration and innovation first started with her son, who has been on nutrition therapy for eleven years. While raising a child on nutrition therapy, Sarah recognized there were challenges associated with his medical appliances and keeping them safe. Instead of waiting around for someone else to create something to help, Sarah got creative and began making accessories to secure her son’s ostomy and G-tube. Soon other parents were inquiring about the accessories and Sarah started making them for others. Quickly this evolved into a complete line of medical accessories called Gus Gear, affectionately named after her son.

 

Creating everything from central line wraps to pump bag covers, Sarah has helped this community manage their nutrition therapy and medical needs. Sarah feels her products give people their quality of life back while allowing them to be active and engage with their peers. Sixteen hospitals in the United States and Canada now buy Gus Gear’s central line wraps for their patients. Sarah won the New England Pediatric Device Consortium’s 2017 Target Challenge for Catheter Securement.

 

Sarah continues to give back to her community through her advocacy and public speaking events. She was selected to speak at the Association for Vascular Access national conference in September. She remains optimistic, loving, and incredibly supportive of her son, daughter, and husband.

 

Congratulations to the nominees:

Brenda Gray; Saira Grisales; Ruth Hamilton; Heather Hanna; Andrew Jablonski; Luke Johanson; Jack and Carol Leibee; Carolyn Sue MacKinnon; Tammy Martin; Ellen Meade; Linda Psomas; Vicky and David Sedano; Tomas Thompson; Maggie Vladyka

 

  


Kyle R. Noble Scholarship

Damarius Ingram

 

 
 Damarius Ingram

 

In 2007, the Noble family established the Kyle R. Noble Scholarship. Each academic year, a $2,000 scholarship is awarded to an applicant who embodies the qualities for which Kyle is remembered.

 

This year, the scholarship was awarded to Damarius Ingram, a seventeen-year-old student who wants to pursue art.

 

Meet Damarius:

My name is Damarius. At the age of fourteen I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which changed my life. I was always a healthy individual, so when I became sick it was very hard for me to process it. For two years I suffered in silence with my family, trying to deal with being sick. I got into art, which really helped me cope and discover that things can get better. This is why I decided to major in art.

 

When I was sixteen I started to experience gastrointestinal (GI) related issues. I was diagnosed with gastroparesis and median arcuate ligament syndrome. I needed a feeding tube and gastric pacemaker. I was tired of suffering in silence, and I decided to create a blog that showed people you can live despite being ill.

 

Stories are powerful and sharing those stories change lives. I started living by this quote that I made: “I believe we live for each other in this chronic illness community. We live for those who can’t right now and they live for you while you can’t.” In this chronic illness community, we live for one another and we inspire one another to live. Illness doesn’t mean you have to stop living; it just means you have to start living differently.

 

I’m no longer the girl I was before I became ill. I’m a new, stronger version of my old self, though the journey of rediscovery didn’t happen overnight. It took me two years to see that all the obstacles I’ve faced were never meant to break me, but were meant to keep that fighter within me alive, so I would be able to inspire others with my story.

 

I am so thankful to be receiving the Oley Foundation Kyle R. Noble Memorial Scholarship this year and plan to keep inspiring others to always keep fighting and to never give up.

more Calendar

2/9/2019
Oley Regional Conference - Dallas, Texas

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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