Our September Superhero of the Month is Karen! DSN’s volunteers share their “spoons” to organize local events, help with outreach, moderate our online communities, & more.
Karen has volunteered since 2016, including roles as a New Jersey & Mississippi State Admin & Assistant to our Executive Director. Karen volunteered with DSN because she wanted to help other patients find the support & resources they need in one location. “When the information is gathered in one place, it makes it so much easier. It helps so much to know someone out there understands what you are going through on a daily basis.”
Karen’s illnesses took 3 months for her to receive a diagnosis she had a stroke in 2015. She has been diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, brainstem infarction, & severe migraines. ” She was able to work as a secretary before her illnesses, but now is homebound. “I have extreme weakness in my legs, memory loss, fatigue, vision loss, daily headaches. I have difficulty walking & use a cane or motorized cart to get around.” Regardless of her limitations, Karen has achieved some major goals. “With all my health problems over the past year, I was able to complete my associates degree in business administration. I received my degree in May, 2016 at the age of 51.” Congratulations, Karen!
Karen is celebrating her fifth wedding anniversary this year, & has been with her husband for 10 years. She has 2 daughters, 1 son, 3 step-daughters, & 5 grandchildren in addition to 3 "furbabies"
(2 dogs & 1 cat). “In my spare time I am learning how to draw. (Not too good at it, but I am enjoying it). I also love spending time with my husband. When the weather is nice, we love going to flea markets, thrift stores, & yard sales.”
When asked what she has learned from her illness Karen said, ““I have found out that I am a stronger than I ever thought I was, & I am more thankful for every day.”
Thank you, Karen , for being a superhero in all that you do for DSN!