Tuesday, May 29, 2007

My Cousin Ellen

I was going through my email today. Cleaning up the piles of junk that have accumulated over the last couple of weeks as we have moved. I ran across an email from my cousin, Ellen.

good morning- this came to me and I thought it was worth passing on. It seems like it would be a no-brainer- but I'm sure some male Dr. and insurance guys came up with the idea you could leave so soon. Ellen
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 11:32 AM
Subject: [dentalassistingtalk] Important Info: Fight the Insurance (Mastectomies)

I received this from a dentist in Arizona, He asked me to disseminate this information


A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast
cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a
mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards.

Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient
procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the
hospital for 2 days after surgery.

It takes 5 seconds to do this and is very important...

please take
the time and do it really quick!

Please send this to everyone in your address book. If there was
Ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times. If
you're receiving this, it's because I think you will take the 30 seconds to go to vote on thi s

issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act
Which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital
Stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the
"drive-through mastectomy" where women are forced to go home just a few hours after
surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from
Anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a
petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed

PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You
Need only give your NAME, ZIP CODE and EMAIL.


This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends and
Family and, on behalf of all women... THANKS.

Have a smilin' day

Linda Belaus, CDA, RDH

This was typical of Ellen... she was passionate about the fight against breast cancer, particularly after her younger sister, Coreen was diagnosed. In fact, she spent her Mother's Day participating in the Y-Me Walk.

It turns out that was the last email I would get from my cousin.

Ellen died Monday while scuba diving.

She is survived by her husband of many years, Bob, her beautiful and talented daughter Jennifer, her sisters Colleen and Coreen, her nephew, Alex and her niece, Elisabeth, nicknamed Ellie in her honor and a slew of aunts, uncles and cousins... including me.

My mom has taken her death especially hard. See as a girl as young as ten my mom was Ellen's babysitter. She always described Ellen as her shadow when she was a girl.. and understood why it was important to be kind to and watch out for the little girls who idolize us. Luckily Mom and Ellen got to spend some time together a couple of months back. Still it will hard for her to realize her "shadow" is gone forever.

I was a little girl when Ellen moved away and got married. But I still remember how funny and practical she was. Full of stories of the family from before I was born and the adventures she was enjoying now.

I am going to miss her immensely.

In her honor, I will be making a donation to the Y-Me Breast Cancer walk she recently made...

I hope you will too.


mamazilla said...

i'm so sorry to hear of your loss! your cousin sounds like she was just a lovely person. thank you for sharing her with me. you and your family are in my thoughts.

Jen said...

I don't know if you are notified when someone replies to on old posting, but I just stumbled on this tonight. It brought me to my knees. I can't thank you enough for this touching post. I wish I had seen it then, but honesly I probably wouldn't have remembered it...that week is such a fog. What a gift it is to read this 7 months later! I love you Gretchen. Thank you, thank you, thank you. -Jennifer