By: Christian John Lillis
On Saturday, June 7, we had the great pleasure to attend the 1st Annual Judy Dexter Memorial Picnic and Cornhole Tournament at Savage Park in Maryland.
Judy Dexter was a beloved wife, mother and friend, who lost her life to a recurrent C. diff infection in May 2013. In her memory, Judy’s husband, Chuck, and their children Rich, Scott, Mike and Kirsten, decided to start an annual picnic and cornhole tournament in the area of Maryland where the family resides. Since the Dexters first shared Judy’s sad story with us last summer, it’s been clear that they were devoted to their mother and determined that her legacy would be greater awareness of the disease that took her life.
About 80 people attended the Picnic and tournament, three of whom had their own battles with C. diff, including a woman named Elizabeth who’s daughter had C. diff when she was two.
One of the most touching moments occurred when a nurse who had helped take care of Judy while she was in the hospital showed up. It was obvious that this nurse cared deeply for Judy and, I’m sure, her other patients. The Dexters obviously saw her as a great and kind caregiver for Judy. In our conversation, she seemed to be on fire to raise C. diff awareness and get her hospital to bring down rates. She also told me that the Dexters were amazing advocates for Judy and she’d want them in her corner if she was ill.
In all it was a really wonderful day. The Dexters raised more than $6,400 that will help the Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation to build a nationwide C. diff awareness movement.
Beyond the funds raised at the event, the Judy Dexter Memorial Picnic was a fantastic example of how individuals and families can contribute to the fight against C. diff. Similar to why we founded PLMF, the Dexters are determined to ensure that other families do not have to suffer the pain of losing a loved one to this preventable infection. The picnic was a wonderful way to honor Judy’s memory, bring the Dexters’ community together, provide information about C. diff and have fun doing it. Check out pictures from the Picnic on our Facebook page.
We are deeply grateful for the Dexters’ commitment to the fight against C. diff and for the generosity of all who attended the picnic.