Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We'll miss PHA's Johnny Appleseed...

Like a thunderbolt.

That's how it feels sometimes.  Yesterday, I was sitting at my desk working  on some projects and I spotted a message.  Then another.  Penny Engel passed on Monday night.

I hadn't spoken to her for awhile.  While I had been aware she was having health issues, I didn't know how serious things had gotten for her.

I'll always remember Penny as the Johnny Appleseed of Florida.   She was always looking for ways to help patients and ramp up the fight against PH.  First it was the printer cartridge recycling business she and her husband, David, started out of their home.  She contacted us to say she wanted to give a portion of the profits to PHA.   By the time I met her at the 2002 PHA Conference in California, she had begun traveling the state and forming new support groups.  She would go into one area after another, talking to people, encouraging them and often leaving behind a new group. Later joined by the efforts of Gail Bucci, they grew the Florida support group network from one to ten groups.

Good bye, old friend, we'll miss your caring and dedication...we'll miss you.


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  2. Penny was an inspiration. She fought hard in spite of pain and injury. She was one of the first Support Group Leaders I met and was so welcoming and hospitable. She taught me a lot in my five years of organizing in the PH community.

    I will miss her dearly.