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The main goal of the Oley Ambassador is to heighten awareness of Oley resources whether it is in their geographic area, social networking community, clinical circles, etc. The “job” responsibilities can be flexible based on the Ambassador’s skills, available time, and interest. Please call (518) 262-5079 or e-mail metzgel@mail.amc.edu if you are interested in becoming an Oley Ambassador or learning more about what is involved. 


HEN = has experience with enteral (tube-fed) nutrition

HPN = has experience with parenteral (IV) nutrition

HPEN = has experience with IV & tube-fed nutrition

Parent = parent of HPN or HEN consumer

Spouse = spouse of HPN or HEN consumer

* = Has information on support group meetings


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

Kristy Poindexter

1771 Limewood Ct.
Concord, CA 94521
(925) 349-4835



Kristy, the oldest of three siblings, became ill when she was 8 years old and thus began a long journey of doctors and hospitals. She was originally diagnosed with Achalasia, a disease of the esophagus. Soon after, she was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease, put on bowel rest and began her first round of HPN. For a period of time, she was able to tolerate HEN. She has been back on HPN for the last 10 years. Kristy is now a licensed esthetician. She enjoys knitting, cooking, gardening, and boating with her family. She lives her life on day at a time, and lives each moment to the fullest!

Bruce & On Braly


1239 E. 8th St.
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 867-2209



The Braly’s son, Matthew, born in 1988, has short bowel and is on HPN. Feeling they had gotten much support through Oley over the years, they decided they wanted to give some back!

Darla Edwards

681 Chateau Circle

Vacaville, CA 95687

(707) 290-1984



When she was just two years old, Darla was diagnosed with Congenital Intestinal Lymphangiectasia. Since then she has received additional diagnosis of Secondary Protein Losing Enteropathy, Secondary Hypo-Gamma Globulinemia, Asthma, and Spinal Osteopenia. She was HPN-dependent for eight years and also received enteral nutrition through a G-tube. She has experienced beginning stage liver failure, pitting edema, and suffers from compromised immunity. Though currently off TPN, Darla still receives IVIG and protein infusions. Now in her early 20s, Darla is a full-time college student majoring in Child Psychology. She is employed as a part-time child daycare provider and spends her free time drawing, singing, dancing, and doing jigsaw puzzles. She knows about the importance of achieving her goals in spite of the challenges put forth by her disease. Darla hopes that sharing her medical experiences and personal knowledge will help Oley members. She is very interested in developing local fundraisers and searching for new outreach avenues.

Jane Golden

PO Box 645

Watertown, CT 06795
(860) 945-6315



As a result of short bowel syndrome, Jane has been on and off HPN since 1993. She feels strongly that survivors of short bowel need other survivors to talk to and see, since it is difficult for others to truly understand the lifestyle and concerns of people with the syndrome. She has worked hard to get back to a “normal” life and would like to share her experiences with fellow homePENers. Jane has a degree in Business Administration and is now retired from IBM. She enjoys horses and has a good sense of humor.

Emily Parks


(573) 864-4656




Emily has been dependent on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) since age six and has overcome obstacles such as multiple intestinal surgeries and IV placements, open heart surgery, and acute kidney failure. She jokes that at the tender age of six months she decided life was “too boring,” so she focused really, really hard and gave herself intestinal pseudo-obstruction, “you know, just to kick it up a notch and be a major over-achiever.”

Emily graduated from Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; studied abroad in Sydney, Australia; works full-time; and lives independently. Currently, Emily resides in the Washington, D.C., area, and is pursuing a career in health care reform and patient advocacy.












updated: 12/17/18

Lynn Wolfson*


 1815 Water Ridge Dr.
Weston, FL 33326
(954) 562-7417


Lynn was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, which has severely affected the functionality of her digestive system. She has had many surgeries since she was four years old. “All of my intestines have been affected,” she writes. At this time (2016), she has an ostomy (her seventh), a gastric tube (for stomach venting), and a Groshong central venous catheter (for IV nutrition, due to severe motility issues, difficulty breaking down foods, and malabsorption of nutrients). In addition, she has a neurogenic bladder and needs to catheterize four times a day.


Lynn was on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) for two years. After two bouts of sepsis, she went on home enteral nutrition (HEN) for three years. However, there were issues with the J-tube retracting into the duodenum or stomach. Consequently, she is back on HPN. 


Lynn has a service dog named Zev, who has been professionally trained for her specific needs. Lynn writes, “Zev carries my handbag in his backpack, helps me up by bracing if I fall, helps me up and down stairs or curbs, picks up things from the floor, and carries things in his mouth, he is with me wherever I go.” Lynn and Zev do a lot of traveling together.


Lynn enjoys her family, learning, traveling, swimming, knitting, and volunteering. Lynn says, “My goal is to live my life to the fullest by being a functioning family member and contributing to my community through touching individuals I meet in a positive way so they can appreciate the gifts life has given them and contribute positively to society.”



Updated 6/6/19


Daulton Heisey


 Lebanon, Pennsylvania

(717) 639-1800




When Daulton was six years old, he lost his intestines due to a volvulus. He was left with six inches of colon and six inches of duodenum. After the doctors explained the risks associated with living on home parenteral nutrition (HPN), Daulton and his parents decided he should have an intestinal transplant. After being tested and put on the transplant list, Daulton waited about a year before receiving a small bowel transplant in 2000. “This was one of the hardest things I have done thus far,” Daulton says. About a year into the having the new bowel, Daulton had severe rejection. He had emergency surgery, where they removed his small intestine once again.

After recovery, Daulton was told he had post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). “I had twenty-two tumors throughout my body, on every organ except the heart and brain. A new challenge lay ahead,” he says. Soon after, Daulton and his mother attended an Oley conference. “It was one of the best choices I made,” he continues. “Oley has been very helpful for information, friendships, and to help me know I am not alone. Oley has given me the strength to deal with my condition and has given me opportunities to talk to other teens going through the same things.”

 Daulton has been on HPN since 2000, and in 2016 he completed nursing school. He “lives a fairly normal life,” he says, with a family of eight (people), two dogs, and three cats. He enjoys playing volleyball and bowling.




Barbara Klingler

1290 Farnsworth Ave.
Valkaria, FL 32950
(321) 724-4566



Barbara has been dependent on HPN for many years due to short bowel syndrome. Remembering the isolation she felt when she first started the therapy in 1986, Barbara makes a special effort to reach out to new Lifeliners so they know they aren’t the only ones fed intravenously. Barbara is also interested in discussing common consumer problems and new technology developments related to the therapy.

Lee Levknecht


 N441 Military Rd.

Sherwood, WI 54169

(920) 989-0196




Lee’s life with HPN began when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in January 1969. He was finishing his last year at the University of Montana. He weighed 205 lbs. When he finished his student teaching in the spring, he was down to 150 lbs. His health deteriorated to a point where he had to cancel his first teaching contract.

For the next nine years, Lee averaged one surgery about every three years. First, a section of small bowel was removed, then an ileostomy was performed, and lastly, he had surgery on a stomach that was ready to perforate. In December 1977, he ended up in the hospital dehydrated, at a weight of 105 lbs. Lee says, “It was a bleak time in my life. I did not see improvement as a possibility. Then a special blessing occurred. I received a visit from a gastroenterologist that had just transferred from the Mayo Clinic. He shared with me about a new program that would feed me intravenously.” Within a week, Lee had a central venous catheter surgically placed to receive this IV nutrition. Lee says he could feel a change in his body even when he first woke up from surgery, laying in the recovery room: “I felt strength and energy again. I was extremely grateful for this renewal of life.”

For the next twenty years, Lee’s “daily feedings” allowed him to coach baseball and basketball.  As a result of the Disability Act of 1990, he returned to school and earned an MSED in School Counseling. He recently retired after twenty-two years working with elementary students. Lee stays physically active with biking, golf, cross-country skiing, and tennis. He is also involved with ministries for the cognitively disabled, nursing home residents, and youth from his church. He and his wife, Jane, have been married for fifteen years (2016).




Marcia Denenholz

(314) 616-1575





Marcia was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of twenty-three. At that time, she had a six-month-old son. The Crohn’s flared every year, and four years later, when she was pregnant with her second child, she got very sick and was hospitalized for a month. She was given only IV fluids, clear broth, and Jell-O, and couldn’t take many medications because of the pregnancy. After a month in the hospital and at three months’ pregnant, she weighed 85 pounds. She wasn’t well, but her baby was growing. When her mother died, she left the hospital for the funeral and, she says, “by some miracle I got better. Six months later I had a healthy baby girl. I was very lucky. Had HPN been available at the time, I probably could have avoided that lengthy hospital stay. But it was only 1969.”

Every year her Crohn’s flared up and she would be hospitalized. After two surgeries, in 1984 she was given an ileostomy. “I was scared,” she says, “and didn’t know how I was going to be a mother and continue my job as an administrative assistant for Washington University School of Law. But I persevered. I attended many ostomy meetings and I learned all I could. I was also very active in the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF), serving on the local executive board for many years as recording secretary.”

In 2001, Marcia was put on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) to rest her bowel. She didn’t eat anything for a couple of months. She says it was very hard psychologically. In 2009 she had another surgery and was put on HPN several times a week. And in 2013, after another surgery, she ended up with severe short bowel syndrome. She has a little over a foot of small bowel. Complications following the surgery left her on a respirator for ten days, hanging onto life. “That event changed me forever. I will be on HPN for the rest of my life,” she says, “but I am grateful to wake up every morning.”

Marcia keeps busy. She takes a literature class, does yoga, plays mahjong and canasta, and belongs to a knitting group. She is still involved with CCF and the UOAA (United Ostomy Associations of America). She has been to several Oley conferences and says she looks forward every year to the next one. Marcia is now seventy-four years old (2016). She is married and has two children and two granddaughters. 


Steven Vogler

Grand Rapids, MI 49548

(616) 881-7182



My wife, Jean, and I live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. We have no children, but do not get us started on Molly, our latest dog. Jean is a retired nurse. I am retired/disability also; I worked mostly in the technology field, but worked about eight years as CNA with traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients prior to becoming disabled.


Jean and I have both enjoyed bicycling, and she is still actively riding, though I am not. We have had many hobbies through the years and did not allow our health issues to curtail them. We recently started shooting sports and this has given me renewed strength and helped me regain abilities lost through nephropathy.


I’ve been at this for over thirty years. My story starts less than a year after Jean and I got married—and yes, still married. It started with colon-rectal cancer at twenty-six. I lost the rectum and about a foot of large bowel; the surgery was followed by radiation therapy. Colon cancer revisited in 1999, discovered after a routine colonoscopy. This time, I lost my cecum and a foot on either side of it.


I started having a little problem with ostomy output afterwards. Apparently, the small bowel doesn’t care to be radiated and even though it had been twenty years ago, a large portion decided we should part ways in the summer of 2008. Things have a way of sorting out. Six years later another cancer was discovered in a routine colonoscopy, and the remaining large bowel was removed. Months later it was “discovered” I only have about 90 cm of small bowel left, which led to me being dependent on home parenteral nutrition (HPN).


After participating in the Oley conference in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2018, I decided I wanted to be an Ambassador for Oley. I am looking forward to reaching out and helping others with support and encouragement.


You can reach Steven at stevenvogler@hotmail.com or (616) 881-7192 (text preferred).

Updated:  10/11/19

Rosaline Ann Wu*

14339 Hix Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 464-2709



With a lifetime of abdominal problems and nearly twenty years of being on HPN, Rose and her husband Bill have decided to take each new day as a gift and, like any gift we receive from a loved one, we treasure it and remember to thank God for giving us this special day. Rose and Bill share the credit and responsibility for trying to keep the folks in their area connected and benefit from a strong “family” of lifeliners in their area. Rose and Bill have attended several Oley conferences and have experience traveling with HPN. Rose was the first recipient of the Lenore Heaphey Grassroots Education Award in 1994.

Bonnie Sjoberg


14942 62nd Ave
Milaca, MN 56353
(320) 983-2138



Diagnosed with pseudo-obstruction, Bonnie has been on HPN and/or HEN since April of 1995. Bonnie joined the Oley Ambassador team because she feels strongly about the importance of networking with fellow HPNers and group support. She offers fellow lifeliners her empathy, experience, strength, hope and encouragement. She’s attended Oley Conferences, and enjoys sewing as a hobby.

Jennifer Thiesse


111 Elm Street
St. Peters, MN 56082
(507) 340-5755



Jennifer has been on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) since 1982, when she was diagnosed with FAP/Gardner’s syndrome. She has had a total proctocolectomy (removal of colon and rectum) with a continent ileo reservoir/Koch Pouch type ileostomy. She writes, “I have had benign tumors along my small intestine, desmoid tumors, and adhesions as part of my Gardner’s syndrome, which the doctors had to remove. In the end, I have short bowel syndrome (SBS) and motility problems. Ten years ago, I got leukemia, too. I have been in remission since my chemo treatments—praise the Lord!”

Jennifer has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and works part time as a cashier at a local grocery. She is active in her church, and also enjoys flower gardening, golfing, computer games, and reading. Jennifer, who has always been ready to help individuals with questions and problems with their HPN, has been part of Oley since 1987.

Felice Austin



161 Tuscan Shadow St.
Henderson, NV 89012
(702) 435-6007



Felice is a trained social worker and a single parent of two, including her daughter, Mariah, who is on HPN therapy. Felice can speak about a wide range of parental challenges, including insurance, advocacy and separation issues.

Tammi & Robert                

14725 County Road D
New Bavaria, OH 43548
(419) 452-6131




Tammi has been on home parenteral nutrition (HPN) since 2001 due to short bowel syndrome from a tumor. She lives with her husband, Robert, in northwestern Ohio. Tammi currently utilizes a Port-a-Cath® to infuse her HPN, but she also has experience with Groshong® catheters and PICC lines. Robert is her caregiver and is committed to being an advocate for HPN users, as well as advocating for the rights and responsibilities of caregivers. Tammi and Robert would like to help in any way they can, and encourage people to contact them with questions or just to talk. They are involved with a local support group that is growing into northwestern Ohio and southern Michigan and encourage you to contact them for more information on the meetings. Robert and Tammi look forward to hearing from you!

Judi Smith                          


10 Cindy Dr.
Drums, PA 18222
(570) 706-1488


 Judi has over 30 years of experience with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, the many peripheral issues that accompany neuro-muscular disorders, along with the issues all consumers of IV or tube feeding share. As the years have passed, her perspective of viewing life’s glass as half-full has grown, as has having faith in the power of God and using creative methods of self-expression. One of the greatest things that she has learned is to view herself as an integral part of her team of health care workers. Oley has been most helpful in this regard. She has been on HPN since 1990, after 16+ years seeking an accurate diagnosis.

BetteMarie Bond                


56 Rustleaf Lane
Levittown, PA 19055-1421
(215) 946-0898



With a diagnosis smooth muscle disorder, BetteMarie has been an Oley Ambassador since 1992. Bette has gained her independence while on HPN. She has experience with going to college, job interviews, working full time as an occupational therapist, and purchasing her own home, all while connected to a PCA. Her positive perspective, kindness, generosity, and “can do” attitude set a terrific example of what can be achieved while on therapy.

Betty Bond                                


56 Rustleaf Lane
Levittown, PA 19055-1421                 
(215) 946-0898




Betty is the mother of Oley Ambassador BetteMarie. Betty offers support, as well as her experience as a parent of a child who grew up on HPN and as a nurse. She has volunteered for Oley at the Double H Hole in the Woods camp as an HPN nurse.

Michelle Barford


2126 Tides End Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
(901) 304-7412



After being a nurse for over thirty years, Michelle became the patient in 2008 when she went to the ER with acute abdominal pain. She awoke from surgery to find out she had carcinoid cancer of the small intestine. Because it was so widespread, they closed her up after a second surgery and sent her home on hospice. Michelle says, “I have a T-shirt from Spamalot that says, ‘I’m not dead yet,’ and that became one of my many mantras.” She continues: “There isn’t any treatment for carcinoid except to cut it out, so I discharged myself from hospice in 2009 and had the ‘big’ surgery where 90 percent of my intestine was removed. After a year or more of denial I finally got my groove back! I have since tried to live every day to its fullest. My husband, Mark, is very supportive. The nurse/teacher in me wants to give back and I am looking forward to being an Oley Ambassador!”

Robbyn Kindle                      


1016 Hillview Dr.
Keller, TX 76248



Robbyn has been an Oley Ambassador since 1998 and brings to our network a desire to share what she has learned about life and health issues. She spent some time initially “mourning” the loss of her gut and has moved on from depression. She has gone into the field of nutrition, and is now a Registered Dietitian. In 2000, Robbyn underwent surgery for a multivisceral transplant - small bowel, liver, pancreas, and kidney, and after a long, hard recovery and still somewhat dependent on HPN/HEN, is doing well. She is very willing to work with consumers living on nutrition support and anyone with transplant concerns.


Updated 10/18/19


more Calendar

Regional Conference - Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Industry)

Regional Conference - Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Consumer/Caregiver/Clinician)

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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