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Karen Fuecker

HEROES Karen Fuecker 

BAMS Hero

Karen Fuecker is a MS Nurse with Shared Solutions from Central Minnesota. In 2009 the NMSS chose 2 new MN locations for MS outreach programs and Opportunity Matters, Inc. Sartell, MN was chosen to facilitate the program in our area. I met Karen at one of our early meetings. She was a featured speaker. In my experience, and others seeking support services, there weren't any local medical professionals specializing in MS. We all got referred to the twin cities which can be a challenge in so many ways! Karen listened to our concerns that day while trying to assure us that there were local professionals available. We restated our real life experiences with the local medical community.

Since then, Karen has in my opinion, with the support of SS, increased the awareness of our local MS community needs within the medical community. She has cultivated relationships with local medical providers so we can get the quality of care we need locally. Karen also devotes significant time & resources to support our MS Program at Opportunity Matters with an educational monthly program that encourages wellness!

When I was first diagnosed, I felt very alone and isolated here in central Minnesota. The nearest injection nurse was 75 miles away, the local neurologists didn't treat MS and instead referred patients out of the area, the monthly NMSS support group was not well attended, I couldn't find a local eye doctor, therapist, P.T., or G.P., chiropractor, that had any experience with MS. It was frustrating when I would contact the NMSS for local referrals and discovered there weren't any that had experience with people with MS In my area. So that meant my husband would have to take a day off to drive me to the cities if I chose to connect with services. I can't tell you how often I just put of getting care those first few years because it was just not accessible. Then Karen came into our lives, she rallied the medical community, she presents a wellness topic once a month at OMI MS Program, she supplies treats for us, she continues to do in home injection training, she trains injection nurses from all over the country for SS, she practices the wellness strategies in her own life participating in boot camps, an annual Mud Run, she supports our local women's flat track roller derby team who are donating a portion of their season opener ticket sales to our local MS program. This isn't a complete list of all she does! However the difference in how I know I feel with her supportive presence in our community is a huge change from when I was first diagnosed. I didn't have anyone to turn to & now I do as do so many others here. Karen is humble and recently received recognition from TEVA for her work.

Karen is our star in Central Minnesota and I know her star shines far beyond!

(submitted by Marie Freed)