Monday, October 5, 2009

In Memory of a True Rheumatoid Warrior

A Mentor of mine, Kathy Jensen, passed away last week. As I sit here and reflect on the little bit of time I knew her, I don't think she'd want me drone on about who preceded her in death or about a beloved chihuahua named Bruno.

I know that even the little I knew her cannot be summed up in a blog post or a couple paragraphs. However, I want to say her energetic efforts as Vice President of Programs at the Denver office of the Arthritis Foundation without a doubt improved the lives of many people. Her numerous outreach programs, advocacy for funding and work for access to health care for people with arthritis was nothing short of amazing. Kathy went out of her way to help people, whether it be buying soda for a weekly support group or buying me pizza to talk about my future. Before and after my hip replacement, she was incredibly supportive while fighting her own disease. No one can take her place.

Due to her extensive work with people with disabilities/arthritis, Kathy watched many people without access to medical care suffer and become needlessly disfigured. It is truly a shame she did not live to see a different reality. Perhaps her life and death should be a mediation on how we as a community, as a nation, can lessen this suffering.

Kathy, this Orencia is for you!

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