Mary Jane DeLauder Memorial Fund
Myositis Support and Understanding (MSU) along with Dick DeLauder are honored to announce the 2020 Mary Jane DeLauder Memorial Fund is live and we are taking scholarship applications.
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 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 caregivers. Again this year, we will award scholarships for our members to attend the TMA Annual Patient Conference.
The conference is virtual this year, which provides us the ability to award numerous scholarships for IBM patients and caregivers to attend. If you are a U.S. resident, an IBM patient or caregiver, and would like to attend the @Home conference but you are unable to afford the cost, apply by August 8, 2020, for the MSU Mary Jane Delauder Scholarship. The conference is scheduled for September 11-13, 2020. View the full scholarship details and apply online.
About the 2019 Award
For this first year, we worked closely with TMA to pick a recipient for the 2019 Memorial Fund’s award, which covers all costs for a patient and their caregiver to attend the TMA Annual Conference. Read the full announcment.
Details about the Mary Jane DeLauder Memorial Fund
Education and support, for patients and caregivers both, was something Mary Jane (MJ) worked to deliver. This memorial fund, established in 2019, will be used to help members with inclusion body myositis (IBM), who are engaged in MSU’s online support communities and require financial assistance, attend the TMA Annual Patient Conference.
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 MSU 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.