July 9, 2019 Update
June 20, 2019 Update
Dor has been making arrangements for palliative and then hospice care, and has been delighted with how smooth this process has been. Visiting nurses have taken over the details of managing her care -- they make house calls two to three times per week -- and are available to her 24/7 if necessary. The best possible combination of comfort and mental clarity is Dor's priority; everyone on the team sees to it that this wish is granted. Dor is still up and around, but on a more limited basis. As you can imagine, many people want to visit. Dor has asked to let you know that short visits with her in the garden, weekdays between 5:00 and 6:00, are most convenient for her. You are welcome to stop by during that time.
May 31, 2019 Newsletter
Some of you may not have yet learned that Dorothy Mullen has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. By sending this note, we want to share with you what is happening with Dor and with the future of Suppers. Over the past two years, Dor has been working with the Suppers’ Board to create a succession plan to ensure the sustainability of the organization. This diagnosis has accelerated the pace of this plan.
To say we are all shocked and saddened by this news is an understatement, however this past year has been an exciting one for The Suppers Programs. We have successfully piloted two 8-week fee-based programs: Managing Blood Sugar and Improving Brain Health. We successfully piloted a program in the Trenton Community in partnership with the Westminster Presbyterian Church, and we’re piloting a program this summer in partnership with the Trenton Farmers’ Market. Please take a look at the types of programs we offer.
In Dorothy fashion, we are working together to continue the groundbreaking work she developed in collaboration with the dedicated Suppers Community -- members, volunteers, staff, farmers, medical partners, community partners and the Suppers’ Board of Trustees. We ask that you stay with us and look for news about the future of Suppers.
Below is a note from Dor.
Have you ever been to a Suppers meeting with me? If you have, then you’ve heard me say, “I feel more energetic in my sixties than I did in my fifties, forties, and thirties.” It’s true! It involved doing a lot of homework in the form of detoxing heavy metals and learning how to live. My journey became the fuel and building blocks that formed Suppers.
In early April, things changed. In a matter of days, I progressed from having no inkling of a problem to receiving a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. Let me create some context. Since age 15, I’ve struggled with health problems that almost certainly relate to a combination of genetic vulnerability, heavy metal toxicity, and environmental factors. I am a living perfect storm.
As a result, I wasn’t surprised about the diagnosis. In fact, given how compromised I was starting out, I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to enjoy decades of exceptional energy and clarity.
Now I am navigating through a medical system with which I am completely unfamiliar and I’m learning that managing metastatic cancer is a nearly full-time job. The good news is that my friends are all here for me and falling over themselves to be helpful! A truly beautiful moment.
I’m looking at my beautiful garden. I’m looking at my counters and table, my friends and members. And, I’m wondering how all these ingredients -- the food, the cooking, the people and the program -- will orchestrate themselves into Suppers as I become less involved. The answer is in the succession plan that the board has been working on for years; now it will move at an accelerated pace.
What I know… Suppers will continue to exist because of a team of dedicated and engaged staff, Board members and volunteers who are committed to the continuation of our program. I’m aware that some things will need to change. To oversee this transition, I have placed the leadership in the capable hands of Lee Yonish, who will serve as our Interim Executive Director. Lee has served as a Trustee of our organization since 2012 and is working with the team to build an economically sustainable future for Suppers. Keep an eye out for information as we have it.
Dorothy Mullen and Lee Yonish
What to expect… You can expect updates on the transition to our next phase, and that Suppers will continue to deliver on its mission: to provide safe and friendly settings where anyone -- and especially people with food-related health challenges -- can develop and manage their own personal transitions to a healthier life.
Stay with us... Dor
P.S. To keep my email inbox manageable during this transition, I request that messages be sent to my assistant, Rachel DeBoer (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will warm my heart by sharing what you have learned and how your life is better because of Suppers. Please leave suggestions regarding my care to the treatment providers I've chosen.
May 7, 2019 Update
No further health updates at this time. Rather, an important message from Suppers Medical Partner, Karen Flicker, M.S., L.Ac:
Dor asked me to compose a short piece on mercury toxicity to help our Suppers community make sense of her diagnosis. She doesn't want anyone giving up on environmental activism or the organic lifestyle. She has been dealing with the consequences of mercury toxicity since adolescence and is actually not surprised she is diagnosed with cancer.
The element mercury is second only to radioactive plutonium in its toxicity to human tissue. It's a neurotoxin and endocrine toxin and changes how genes express. Dor carries the gene (MTHFR) that makes it harder for people to methylate -- detox -- heavy metals. There are many lifestyle ways to compensate for that "dirty gene," see Ben Lynch’s book Dirty Genes. She imagines that her eating as green as possible and filling her life with purposeful activity and supportive community bought her a lot of high quality, high energy years.
If you’d like to find out more about mercury and its effects on our health, here’s a link to Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog, in which he describes his own experience with mercury toxicity and shares information acquired at an international conference that was presented at Tulane University entitled “The Impact of Mercury on Human Health and the Environment." I think you’ll find it very enlightening.
April 27, 2019 Newsletter
Dear Suppers Members,
We're writing to inform you about Dor's health status. As some of you already know, Dor has recently reduced some of her activities at Suppers. She has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and is considering treatment options. We have no further information at this time, but will be posting updates here.
Please know that Dor is in good spirits, and in fact, is "not surprised"... she has been managing the effects of mercury toxicity since she was 15 years old. She has much to say on this topic, so stay tuned. We also want to reassure you that Dor and the Suppers facilitators are as fiercely dedicated to Suppers -- and to delivering its mission -- as ever.
We know how deeply the Suppers community cares about Dor. If you would like to extend your best wishes to her, please send a note to email@example.com. Dor always finds tremendous joy in reading how Suppers has impacted lives.
The Suppers Board