Marie Drew, who has been president of AdvocureNF2 since 2009, has announced her retirement. Ms Drew is only the second president since the founding of Advocure, by Rosemary Lee in 2005. Barbara Franklin, Vice President, will assume her responsibilities.
Marie has been an advocate since 1990, first with the Acoustic Neuroma Association, when she was diagnosed with her first Acoustic Neuroma. After a decade, she formed the Tri State ANA, comprised of Pennsylvania,Ohio and West Virginia. She was appointed a board member of NF Inc(now NF Network). She also was one of the original “Crew” of the NF2Crew on Prodig y, more than 25 years ago.
When asked about what makes Advocure unique, Ms Drew said that support groups are not just about holding hands; they can also be a font of valuable knowledge that often doctors do not have, particularly when you have a rare disease.
Ms Drew is the proud mother of two sons, Jeff and Mike. As a single parent, she and her two boys worked together part time at a caterer, which introduced Jeff to what ultimately became his career as a chef. At the same time, Ms Drew was working two jobs: one full time and one part time, going to college at night and running the TriState ANA.
Ms Drew continued to tirelessly advocate for NF2 – whether by letter-writing, email campaigns or participationon boards. She has kept the virtual board of AdvocureNF2 cohesive and goal-oriented. When asked why she got involved, she said, “When your life turns upside down, you have to decide where youare going. Could it be finding a new mate, drugs, depression, or finding a passion. I would have liked to be a psychologist, and my passion for NF2 and the people I interacted with helped fulfill that better than if I had actually become a psychologist, I think.”
We think so, too, Marie, and you will be missed. THANK YOU for the years of your hard work to make AdvocureNF2 what it is today.