A Tribute: Oyster Suppers, Patient Advocacy, and Ice Cream

GranmaryWe lost someone very special yesterday, the last grandparent in our family. Her name was Mary and I want to tell you that she lived a long, healthy life to the age of 96. But decades ago, she’d become a patient advocate. I don’t even know whether that was a word back then. Nevertheless, after surviving breast cancer, she spent years helping other patients to fight and survive.

There are countless ways Granmary is inseparable from me or my life or this blog even although she did not have RA and never read a blog. When I was a young adult, she taught me about cooking, sewing clothes, gardening, and how to paint windows. And other really important things like how to hold a fussy baby, and how to properly visit the sick. She always sent homemade food, extra ice cream, gourmet juice – and breakfast!

You know that “old me” that I miss so much? Granmary was a big part of her.

Granmary could turn any visit into a party. And find the bright side to any situation. She shined the spotlight on others. She thought of every detail; and liked to make things look easy even if she put in a tremendous amount of work to pull them off.

A million memories fill my mind. Lunches at Friendly’s when my girls were babies. Hours on the front porch rocking. Watching Redskins’ games. Shopping for our baby crib. Oyster stew for an impromptu Anti Horse Thief Supper at New Year’s (scroll down to March 20, 1902).

There is joy in seeing my own kids do things I taught them which I learned from Granmary. We’ll carry on doing what she taught us. And what she did, but didn’t talk much about, like helping other patients to fight their battles. We’ll cook her recipes. We’ll send ice cream. Some of us will even learn to like oysters.

Important program note: Last week, I did an interview with Dr. Borenstein, prior president of the American College of Rheumatology for his first broadcast of a new online radio program called Speaking of Health with Dr. B. to be broadcast on Women’s Radio – click this link to listen. My interview was 30 minutes, and I haven’t heard the edited version yet, but there could be another person interviewed before you hear me. I’m told that the program will be the top show on their site tomorrow (Friday) and for the next couple of days. After that, it can be found by searching “Speaking of Health with Dr. B.” If I learn any more, I’ll let you know.

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Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

14 thoughts on “A Tribute: Oyster Suppers, Patient Advocacy, and Ice Cream

  • April 13, 2012 at 9:11 am
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    Kelly, I’m very sorry for your loss. This was such a sweet article and very touching. Revelation 21:3,4 is always comforting to me. Hugs.

    Reply
  • April 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm
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    Kelly….So sorry for your loss. You are so articulate with everything you write. I feel as if I know this special person in your life.

    I could not get your interview. I got onto the Womens site, but it would not go to the interview. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • April 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm
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      Did you see “Speaking Health with Dr. B.” headline? Click on that. Then click on the tiny yellow play arrow button on the left. lmk if you still don’t get it. We are working on getting it embedded here later on. But I hope you can hear it!

      Reply
  • April 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm
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    Your Granmary sounds like a wonderful woman and a pioneer! She seems to have passed on a lot of important things to you. She has a legacy.

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    • April 13, 2012 at 8:05 pm
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      Thank you, Lene. I think that’s what I wanted to show, despite the loss. She made such an impact on me.

      Reply
  • April 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm
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    I’m sorry for your loss Kelly. You can tell how much you loved and respected her. You can also tell how very much she loved you. I know, having a grand daughter myself. She lives on with you in all of the little things she taught you.

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  • April 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm
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    I am so sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sounds like a very special lady.

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  • April 14, 2012 at 6:30 am
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    Deepest condolences on the loss of your dear Granmary.

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  • April 15, 2012 at 9:23 am
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    My condolences on the loss of such a wonderful and important person.

    Reply
  • April 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm
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    Thank you for sharing some of your experiences with Granmary. What a pioneer! My condolences on the loss of such a strong woman.

    Reply
  • April 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm
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    very sorry to here. I’m sure she will be missed by many

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  • April 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm
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    Kelly -my deep condolences – you and your family are fortunate for having such a special person in your live – i am sure you will treasure the memories

    Reply

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