Mom & Lillie

Charmayne Dierker, Ageless Hero

Charmayne Dierker’s community involvement stems from her strong sense of family. Her commitment to her family has led to Charmayne’s extraordinary contribution to society.

Her daughter Lillie’s 1992 diagnosis of breast cancer had a profound affect on her. “Over the course of three summers, I desperately sought out support groups and materials that would help me deal with this devastating crisis,” Charmayne said. “When there wasn’t anything for me, I became angry and frustrated.”

Established in 1995 by Charmayne and her daughter, Mothers Supporting Daughters with Breast Cancer (MSDBC), touches the lives of many by providing basic medical information about breast cancer and various treatment options. It also provides a communications network for mothers and daughters.

“We provided support to more than 3,000 mothers and daughters in the first two years,” said Charmayne. “We help mothers provide the emotional, physical and spiritual support that is needed and desired by afflicted daughters. We help them communicate with each other during a time of high stress.”

MSDBC provides free resources on how mothers and daughters affected by breast cancer can help each other. Charmayne is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week to respond to requests for help via e-mail, fax and telephone.

Lillie Shockney, RN., BS., MAS

Mrs. Lillie Shockney is a registered nurse with a BS degree in Health Care Administration from Saint Joseph’s College and a Masters in Administrative Science from the Johns Hopkins University. She has been employed at Johns Hopkins since 1983. Her career has focused on clinical nursing care with a special focus on cancer patients. She has also served as the Director of Performance Improvement and Utilization Management from 1987 to 1997.

After a personal experience with breast cancer, when she was diagnosed at age 38 in 1992, Mrs. Shockney began to contribute additional time to the hospital as a volunteer for the Breast Center. In this role she conducted patient satisfaction surveys, developed quality of care measurement methods, and worked with the clinical team to develop ways to improve patient care and services for women diagnosed with breast cancer. In 1997 she formally joined the Breast Center staff as the Education and Outreach Director, responsible for the quality of care programs, patient education programs, survivor volunteer team, community outreach at a local, regional and national level, webmaster, and patient advocacy.

Mrs. Shockney is a published author on the subject of breast cancer as well as a nationally recognized public speaker on the subject. She has written two books and many articles on this subject. Her current book, recently published as a revised edition (Ogden Publications) is called Breast Cancer Survivor’s Club – A Nurse’s Experience. Her second book, Journey of Hope, was published by Sprint PCS in 2001 and provided to more than 800 Breast Centers nationally, free, for newly diagnosed women.

Lillie averages about fifty speaking engagements out of state per year. The majority are on the weekends, though some are held during the week. Her audiences vary from breast cancer survivors, health care professionals involved with the care and treatment of women with breast cancer, volunteer groups, women’s clubs and groups, church groups, and people seeking an inspirational as well as humorous speaker.

She has appeared on television dozens of times as well as on radio, appeared in more than five hundred articles in newspapers and magazines since 1994 regarding her experiences with breast cancer which include being a survivor, herself, caring for women who also have breast cancer, educating women about the warning signs of a breast health problem, being interviewed about her books or articles written and published about breast cancer, and she is frequently interviewed for the work she does to facilitate improvements locally, regionally and nationally to make the treatment process of breast cancer less traumatic for women diagnosed in the future.

Her favorite speech that she “takes on the road” focuses on how to use humor to overcome difficult times, in her case, her experiences she shares are about her personal experiences with breast cancer. To hear a sample of her talk on this subject, click here. And, to learn about Lillie’s numerous awards, click here to visit The Johns Hopkins Breast Center website.

Breast Cancer Survivors’ Club Book

In 1999, 180,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Odds of a woman getting breast cancer in her lifetime are one in eight. This is Lillie Shockney’s story who was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of 38. Lillie invites you on an intimate and candid journey through her life’s experiences with breast cancer–as a young girl when her mother’s best friend was diagnosed; as a nurse who has taken care of breast cancer patients; and finally as a patient herself.

Shockney provides invaluable inspiration to women diagnosed with this disease as she takes you through her personal experience being transformed from victim into survivor. She believes that a good sense of humor should be part of a woman’s treatment plan, since it builds the immune system, and she tells you how to accomplish this. She offers practical advice about what is important to discuss with the doctor, how to talk with loved ones about breast cancer, how to come to understand that breast cancer surgery does not compromise a woman’s femininity, and how women’s lives can be more fulfilling by using their personal experiences with breast cancer in constructive ways. She includes a special section on resources to help answer many common concerns that usually go unanswered.

After becoming a registered nurse, Lillie Shockney earned a BS degree in health care administration and a master’s degree in administrative science from Johns Hopkins University. As a national speaker and published author on breast cancer, she is well known for her work and knowledge in this medical specialty. She is the director of education and outreach at the Johns Hopkins Breast Center and the recipient of numerous awards including: Intel’s internet health hero, Shape Magazine and the National Race for the Cure’s “Circle of Life Award,” Outstanding Graduate for Lifetime Achievement, and the American Cancer Society’s “With One Voice” award.

This book contains additional resources for patients and families. All proceeds from the sale of Lillie’s book benefit MSDBC, a non-profit organization, supporting the printing of materials sent to people in need, as well as to help cover the cost of MSDBC’s long distance phone bills. MSDBC calls women in need of immediate emotional support.

Order Your Copy from Amazon.com.

History of MSDBC

A rural private home surrounded by some 400 acres of farmland seems the least likely place to find the National Headquarters for MSDBC. However, that is where the thousands of packets of literature are assembled before they are mailed at the post office in Chestertown, Maryland, eleven miles away.

All of this began in March 1995, nearly three years after Lillie Shockney was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Her mother was devastated so Lillie continued to search for an organization to help her mother emotionally. None was found then or later when Lillie lost her second breast in 1994.

Because Lillie’s mother continued to feel that there should be such an organization, Lillie announced that she and her mother would create one. With their three summers of “breast cancer experience” all of the resources they had found as well as all of the various ways they had learned to keep their attitude on a positive note would be the basis for such an organization to assist other mothers in this situation.

In a few weeks they had prepared two booklets, one for the mother and another for the daughter. Soon after these publications were completed and several other writings were prepared, it became known that mothers everywhere might benefit from what this mother /daughter duo was ready to share. The organization can boast of having a board of directors with half of them being men.

Four years later when the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association announced their second Ageless Heroes contest for seniors Charmayne was nominated for her work with MSDBC. Soon she was notified that she had been selected for the category Community Involvement, and was the winner for the State of Maryland. Shortly thereafter it became known that she and five (5) others in various categories had been selected from 6,500 nominations to be presented awards in May 1999.

The Dierkers (Charmayne and Frank) were flown to Chicago for the special event. President George Bush accompanied by Mrs. Bush, presented the Ageless Hero awards to each of the six (6) national winners.

The evening before the presentations, there was a special reception held by BC/BS with each of the honorees presenting a summary of their work. They were recognized and introduced to the group by the CEO Patrick Hays of BC/CS.

A private reception was held the next morning with President and Mrs. Bush prior to the luncheon. Each honoree was filmed and honored with special words from President and Mrs. Bush. Three hundred people from various walks of life attended the luncheon. When they entered the dining room the banners that bedecked the walls were breathtaking. Each honoree’s face was pictured on two vertical banners, each measuring some fifteen feet high in shades of blue that draped the walls of this atrium-style room with a clear dome ceiling. All of these proceedings were features on CNN, as well as TV Channels in Chicago and throughout the Mid-west.

Mr. John Drury, well-known reporter of WLS-TV, welcomed everyone and Mr. Patrick G. Hays, President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association also gave remarks. The highlight of the event was the Keynote Presentation by President George Bush followed by the presentation of awards for the six categories:

Love of Learning: Harriett W. Smith of Mississippi
Bridging the Generations: Joseph R. Naughton, Jr. of California
Vigor and Vitality: Arnold C. Bull of New Jersey
Against the Odds: Lois Dupuis of Montana
Creative Expressions: Evelyn Stone of Florida
Community Involvement: Charmayne Dierker of Maryland

A special thanks goes to Lillie Shockney for nominating her mother for this award.

Email us at msdbc@verizon.net for support or call 1-410-778-1982.

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