When Susanne Mulvehill was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 23, she denied her diagnosis—even waiting a year before consulting a specialist. She never would have guessed that 17 years later she would be a dedicated supporter and advocate of a world-leading diabetes center like Joslin.
For 14 years following her diagnosis, Susanne thought, “I’m going to control diabetes, it’s not going to control me,” until she experienced severe neuropathy. It was then that she consulted Joslin’s Om P. Ganda, M.D., the physician to whom she credits her current health.
In 2002, during a routine visit with Dr. Ganda, Susanne was humbled by the sight of an amputee and a woman with a Seeing Eye dog. By witnessing such devastating complications from diabetes, coupled with her high regard for Dr. Ganda and Joslin, Susanne was prompted to organize a fundraiser for Joslin. “There’s no better place that treats this disease than Joslin,” says Susanne.
Despite her busy schedule as a nurse at a local hospital, in the spring of 2003 she planned a night of music and dancing in her hometown of Norwood, Mass. to help make a difference. “Jam for the Joslin” was a hit. With almost 300 people packing into Concannon Village for the event, Susanne raised over $5,300 for research and care at Joslin. “There was an overwhelming response,” says Susanne. “Not only was it for a good cause, but everybody had a great time, too.”
Susanne’s family and neighbors, as well as local businesses, supported the event. Her brother Ted’s band, Pi Alley, headlined the “Jam” at no charge. Her other brother, Brian, an executive at Empire Carpet, gave $600 worth of gift certificates for the evening’s raffle. And the Norwood Police raised $600.
“Time after time, Norwood locals open their hearts and wallets for people in need,” adds Susanne. “Volunteers like Susanne, who participate in Joslin’s Community-Generated Events Program, are the number one reason for the program’s success,” says Ilene Aster, manager of the program. “Susanne is truly committed to Joslin’s mission.”
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Page last updated: January 31, 2015