RAISING MPN AWARENESS ONE CONNECTION AT A TIME

RAISING MPN AWARENESS
ONE CONNECTION AT A TIME

 

MPN HEROES: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Author: Voices Of MPN

MPN Heroes from past years share their thoughts on what being honored through the MPN Heroes® Recognition Program has meant to them. To recognize an individual or organization that has gone to extraordinary lengths to help members of the MPN community, nominate your MPN Hero now.

Image of Erin Blackwell, RN, BSN, OCN Erin Blackwell, RN, BSN, OCN®
Image of David Denny, Patient Advocate David Denny,
Patient Advocate
Image of Susan Leclair, PhD Susan Leclair, PhD
Image of Julie R. Libon, Patient Advocate Julie R. Libon, Patient Advocate

How would you define an MPN Hero?

David: An MPN Hero is someone who uses his or her gifts to bless people who are part of the MPN community. They are characterized by empathy and compassion for people who are affected by MPNs.

Erin: To me, the real heroes are and have always been the patients and their caregivers. An MPN Hero is someone who has been touched by these diagnoses and has a true understanding of what these patients go through on a day-to-day basis, and with this knowledge, advocate.

As a recognized MPN Hero, is there anything in particular that you think the judges should be looking for in selecting this year’s MPN Heroes?

Susan: Someone who stands up for something extra. Doing your job is nice but it should not be the only thing that gets you noticed. Someone who "takes on" in some fashion their institution (doing less research and more patient care), or is available outside of normal working hours (and not just be having someone else answer the phone), or advocates for other patients—including, but not limited to themselves—or does something positive.

Julie: As a judge this past year, I was amazed at all the positive things people are doing to help the MPN community. When I was reading the forms, I looked for an in-depth explanation for why the person should be an MPN Hero. I think that is really important.

What has changed since your nomination?

David: My selection as an MPN Hero gave me more opportunities to try to help the MPN community. I was the subject of another video and I’ve participated in CHAMPN and Voices of MPN projects.

Susan: I have gotten more requests for assistance.

What was the best/most rewarding part about being named an MPN Hero?

Julie: The most rewarding part about being named an MPN Hero was that others in the community were made aware that there are people out there with and without an MPN trying to make a difference. The best part was that I could share it with all of my donors and hikers. It is because of them that HikeMF is successful.

Erin: For me, the best thing about being named an MPN Hero was meeting new faces with similar interests as myself, who have now become friends. It is always nice to network within the field, but beyond that, I also met patients and their caregivers who I keep tabs on regularly.

What advice would you give to future MPN Heroes and nominators?

Julie: To future nominators, I would say to state clearly and thoroughly why the person you are nominating should be an MPN Hero. To future MPN Heroes I would say, be very proud of the work you are doing. You are making a difference!

Erin: I would love to see more individuals aware that this award exists and nominate those who are deserving. If you know someone who has an impact on this community, please nominate them! It is such an incredible and humbling experience that I am so grateful for, and I know so many who are equally (if not more so) deserving of this recognition. To all future heroes, thank you for all that you do and continue to push forward and be a voice and raise awareness!

Learn why Erin, David, Susan, and Julie were recognized as MPN Heroes. Visit here.

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