Celebrating Our Founder
Mary Ann Wasil
1964 – 2016
It is with great sadness that we share that our Founder and leader of The Get In Touch Foundation, Mary Ann Wasil, passed away on April 15, 2016.
Gone From My Sight
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
And that is dying…
by Henry van Dyke
Remembering Mary Ann
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The Incomparable, May Ann Wasil
From the moment I met Mary Ann I was in awe. She never quit loving life, ever, she knew how precious it was, she lived with urgency and kept cancer at bay as best she could for as long as she could for her three beautiful children, Betsy, Mary and Eddy. Her smile lit up a room, so did the sparkle in her eyes. She was driven to be happy always, no matter what, even in tough times. She created a movement and made her children strong. I wish I had more time with her, her enthusiasm was infectious. And though she is no longer here, I think of her words everyday, “choose joy.” She changed the lives of everyone she met, I know she changed mine.
I met Mary Ann in Chicago. It was her first NASN national conference and she jumped in 100%. We were in line to embark on the Spirit of Chicago for a night of fun. She was by herself and we struck up a conversation. I invited her to join the Virginia delegation at our table and she did. Before dinner was over she had told us her story and my deep and abiding respect and admiration began. She touched me in a way that I still can’t explain. Since the conference in Chicago, Mary Ann has joined the Virginia delegation every year for Affiliate Night Out. We even got to enjoy Betsy’s company in San Francisco! Over the years, Mary Ann was the keynote speaker for a state conference that I host, a conference that the Virginia Association of School Nurses hosts, and she asked me to be on the GIT consulting board. But on a more personal level, she inspired me, answered my calls on her personal phone line, and hugged like there was no tomorrow! She always greeted me with a huge smile and hug and she just amazed me. I don’t know of anyone who has ever inspired me the way she has. I only pray that when crisis knocks on the door of my life, that I can respond with just a tiny bit of her courage and grace. She lived her faith and was beautiful in life! I can’t imagine the NASN conference this year without her physical presence, but I know her BIG spirit will be among us. And I know in heaven she is more beautiful than ever. HOPE LIVES, Mary Ann!
You are Everywhere!
I see you everywhere and in everything and while I’m having trouble believing that you have departed this plane I still hear your words…”Choose Joy” and I am and I will.
You are still a force!
Thank you for all that you gave to everyone.
LOVE YOU Always!
Larger than life!
I could right a book of all the things I remember and love about Mary Ann. I met her as a client and became fast friends. Six years ago, she was at our wedding in St. John, stayed on our villa, partied in our hot tub. I miss her so much. Miss her smiling face, always smiling! Her joy lives on forever. I love you, Mary Ann. And, I love your kids, Betsy, Mary and Eddy.
Nursery Mates Forever
With our birthdays approaching, I am thinking about how we used to consider ourselves ‘nursery mates!’ Mare was born 5/7 and I was born 5/8. We shared a nursery together at Bridgeport Hospital back in 1964.
Thank you for changing my life. You’ve given me such a positive outlook on everything and I’ll forever be grateful for the time I got to spend with you. You will always be a hero to me and will be dearly missed. Hope lives!
BCC Rally grateful to have been touched by Mary Ann
Mary Ann Wasil and the Get In Touch Foundation remains an inspiration to all who work to change the breast cancer story. She was our keynote speaker at our annual BCC Rally ® Ladies’ Golf Luncheon in both 2011 and 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. BCC Rally® ‘s mission to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer parallels Mary Ann’s own mission to educate young people about their breast health. In 2011, she joined our event via Skype due to her limited travel during treatment for her recurring breast cancer. The following year, luncheon attendees were surprised with the joyous presence of Mary Ann Wasil in person!! She truly connected with BCC Rally volunteers, board members and attendees who received her book and a Daisy Wheel as a thank you for supporting breast cancer fundraising. Mary Ann’s vision continues to make a significant difference in the world and BCC Rally® is so grateful for having been touched by her.
Marcia Myers Gainer, BCC Rally board president
Mary Ann a lovely lady, so strong and kind. The nurses of the ISNA conference will miss her dearly. Forever in our hearts. We will carry on with the Daisy wheel in our schools.
Mary Ann was my Mothers neighbor, my Mom had many things wrong with Her – polio, diabetes, blindness – I used to find Her on the kitchen floor. She slipped from Her wheel chair trying to get Her orange juice from the frig. One day She did not answer the phone, so I rushed to Her house, there was Mary Ann holding Her in Her arms, after aiding Her with some thing sweet.
That was the way Mary Ann was. I did not know Her that well, but my Mother did, now Mary Ann is with my Mom. Bless You, and ALL You have done Mary Ann.
Hope Morrow Glidden
Thank you, and God Bless You
I met Mary Ann in 2007 at a luncheon where she shared her story, and I was literally awestruck at her bravery, honesty, and generosity of spirit to reach out in the midst of her own experience and help others. Five years later, Mary Ann saved my baby sister’s life. Mary Ann met with her and convinced her to have a proactive double mastectomy after having a full hysterectomy for BRCA2 uterine cancer. Melanie did not want to have the surgery, and Mary Ann met with her, and took time with her to encourage her. Melanie had the surgery and they found cancerous tissue. She would not be alive today. Mary Ann was and is a hero. We will always love her.
Your legacy lives on in Africa
I was shocked to read on this page today that Mary left us in April. Just yesterday I brought out the packs of Daisy Wheel in my office and ruminating on when to visit the schools for another training sessions. My daughter took a copy of the Daisy wheel with a promise that I will teacher her how to use it after work today.
Mary, your legacy lives on in our heart here in Nigeria, Africa. I pray that Get-in-Touch Foundation will live on and enlarge beyond your dreams. Get-touch-Foundation crew, be encouraged and move on, you will succeed!!
Gone but not forgotten
I will introduce the Daisy wheel program for young girls at my church. Thanks for the brilliant idea.