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May is when we celebrate Mother’s Day

The medical team at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) nursed Antoinette Royster from the aftermath of a coma to recovery, but she attributes Friends at NIH with saving her life. Without the financial support from Friends, she says she would have been forced to stop treatment.

Antoinette was extremely sick in 1999 with spinal meningitis. Due to debilitating pain, she was put in a medically induced coma in a D.C. hospital. When she woke up, she couldn’t walk, talk or eat. She was enrolled in a hospice facility, but was determined not to die because there would be no one to take care of her elderly mother – Mrs. Hattie Mae Royster.

Antoinette’s doctor helped her enroll in an NIH research protocol. The intensity of the trial meant Antoinette faced choosing between her care and her job. “My mother moved in with me, and it was imperative that I was able to help her and not burden her with any financial problems”. That’s when the Friends at NIH stepped up to help pay the rent and utility bills.

Antoinette’s mother lived another 13 years with her daughter as her sole caregiver. Today Antoinette is a strong voice on the NIH Patient Advisory Group. She will be a guest speaker at the upcoming Friends at NIH Annual Golf Tournament on May 18, 2017.

In honor or in memory of your mother, please consider making a gift to support patients like Antoinette, who are deeply committed to caring for their mothers despite their own medical concerns.

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