Mary Jane DeLauder Memorial Fund
Myositis Support and Understanding (MSU) along with Dick DeLauder is honored to announce the Mary Jane DeLauder Memorial Fund.
Mary Jane Thurmond DeLauder (MJ) of Indialantic, Florida, an advocate for patients all of her life, passed away in June 2019 after living with the rare disease inclusion body myositis (IBM) for 25 years. Her passion for welcoming and educating was well-known throughout the myositis community. That’s why we can’t think of a better way to honor and remember her than to establish this memorial fund to help educate, connect, and support IBM patients and care partners.
Funds will be used to provide one patient and their care partner an all-expenses paid trip to TMA’s Annual Patient Conference We will award the scholarship to someone with IBM who is active in MSU’s support communities and is using their voice to promote education, getting involved in research, and other important advocacy work.
About the 2022 Award
Louie and his spouse and care partner Keli are perfect examples of who we believe Mary Jane would have wanted the award to go to. We have had the chance to get to know Louie and Keli through our Clubhouse and Facebook support groups, both finding us early in their journey and getting right to it by asking questions, working on movement and nutrition, supporting others and utilizing support partnerships, and participating in research studies.
We thank Louie and Keli both for their contributions to the Myositis Community.
Mary Jane, an avid supporter of IBM patients
MJ was an avid supporter of IBM patients through both organizations, MSU and TMA. Her work on behalf of myositis patients started with TMA, where she served on the board of directors in 2008. She and her husband Dick were great resources to TMA members learning to deal with IBM, where, at the Annual Patient Conference they would join and lead sessions and caregiver panels. MJ was an active member of the SW Florida KIT group. As her disease progressed, she converted to remote participation due to the distance. Her in-person presence and sunny disposition has been missed by the KIT membership.
As MSU began forming our individual online support groups, MJ was one of our original, and longest-serving, admins, and she was instrumental in helping to create the guidelines that got our groups going and kept the family-like, supportive atmosphere so many people have come to know and love.
In her role as administrator of the MSU support groups, MJ was always quick to welcome new members, answer a question, cheer up someone who was down, or share her experiences about adapting to life with IBM. MJ also served as the leader of the MSU IBM Patient Video Support Sessions for many months. While we were forming our non-profit she was available for advice and questions on how we wanted the organization to function. She is sorely missed by all who knew her. We can honestly say MSU would not be what it is today without her presence.
Donate to the Mary Jane DeLauder Memorial Fund
Dick DeLauder, MJ’s husband and care partner, is honored to have this memorial fund established in her name. His wish for this fund is that it reflects MJ’s passion for education and patient involvement in the community, and he will match donations made during annual fundraising for this award.
Click the button below to make a donation to this restricted fund, meaning this money will only be used for the purposes of the memorial fund and not other programs or expenses. To make a standard unrestricted donation to MSU, please click here. Your contributions are what keep us going as an all-volunteer nonprofit organization.