Relating from experience

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
When I thought my car might be stuck in a cotton field this weekend, I turned to Stacie, my friend and partner in sleuthing, and said, “Well, at least now I have something to write about in my column this week.” Fortunately for me, my car was not stuck, and my car, along with Stacie and I, were able to get out unscathed.
While I always like to share stories about myself as a bumbling reporter, my topic changed after speaking with Maggie Quimby Monday morning.
For Lifestyles this week, I covered all of the events benefiting Toby Quimby and his family and was moved by the outpouring of community support for him and his family.
However, this is not what moved me to write my column this week. While it was touching, it (community support) was a topic I had covered before, and like I said, what got me was speaking with Maggie.
When I interview someone, I don’t always share or relate my own experiences, but there are times when I think it will be beneficial for the interview and times when I just plain can’t stop myself. This morning was one of those latter times.
My mother was diagnosed with Lupus when I was very young and by far, it has shaped my life and who I have become more than anything.
Listening to Maggie speak of the frustration and distress caused by the constant misdiagnosis of her husband’s illness, along with him just having the illness itself, I could relate and empathize. Seeing someone you love being sick and in pain is hard no matter what, but having no clue as to what can be done to help is heart wrenching.
Luckily for both my mother and Toby Quimby, a diagnosis was finally made and treatment was able to begin.
Treatment began for Toby in Missouri, and it so happens there are also several people from Alabama receiving treatment for the same disease there.
As it turns out, many of them had had themselves checked for Lyme disease after hearing of someone in their area with similar symptoms being diagnosed.
This type of awareness and take-charge attitude about personal health is something both Maggie and I feel passionately about.
I can picture doctors cringing at these words now, but if you are experiencing severe symptoms it is so important to go to the doctor and have it checked out, and unless there is a definitive test for something make sure you do your own research as well.
No one is perfect, not even doctors who do so much good, and it is so important to stay on top of your health and be active in knowing what is going on with your body.
While I hate what it is that brought us together, it was nice to have someone to talk to who understands and can relate, and I hope we will all continue to encourage and support the Quimbys with our thoughts and prayers.
MaryClaire Foster is news editor for the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at (251) 368-2123 or via email at

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