This post is a tribute to a woman who is well known in the Cushing's community, our own Mary O'Connor, affectionately known as MaryO to those whose lives she has touched. Mary had Cushing's Disease rear it's ugly head in her life in 1983, long before the internet. She diagnosed herself after reading an article in a woman's magazine, then spent a couple of years trying to get a doctor to listen to her. When she finally did get to treatment, she was amazed to meet other patients in the hospital who were going through the same thing. She decided she would make a difference by making Cushing's awareness her goal. She created and runs the website www.cushings-help.com that has thousands of Cushing's patients as members on the message boards there. (She does this all without pay!) She also runs several other websites and blogs. She has been an advocate for all of us.
Well, Mary, I have news for you. Your work is paying off! Recently I've been in a position to tell people about Cushing's. And they don't say "What's that?!" They say "Oh no! I know about that. Here - look at my sub-clavicle fat pads!" (I have to admit that I was slightly taken aback by that comment!) Others have told me they've read about it, seen it on TV, know someone who had it. Mary, the word is out. People are learning about Cushing's! Your work has made a difference. YOU have saved lives, and no doubt will save more just because people have access to more information, thanks to you. People no longer have to suffer alone or feel humiliated and crazy. We owe you, Mary. Thank you so much.
So now, let's all educate the doctors!