Janet Myder, a truly well-known friend of the MG Community, passed away earlier in April. We honor Janet and recognize her many volunteer contributions and the influence she had on all of us.
She left her earthly life on April 12, 2022 at the age of 77 years old. For those who knew Janet, she is the perfect embodiment of a passionate, dedicated volunteer for the MG Community.
According to her obituary, Janet was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in 1997. She quickly became associated with the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) and began serving as a patient advocate on behalf of those with MG. She immediately shared the common thread of MG with so many others, and she began to get deeply involved to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
While still living in Maryland, Janet was a member of the MGFA’s former MarylandMD/DC/DE chapter board of directors and co-chair of the Bethesda, MD MG Support Group. After retirement from full time work, she became a very active advocate and supporter on the MGFA national level. She was elected to the MGFA national board of directors in 2007 and served for six years. She was the board secretary, Communications Committee Chair, and a member of the MGFA Executive and Chapter Relations Committees, as well as editor of the MGFA electronic newsletter.
When she and her husband, Jim, moved to Mount Pleasant, SC, Janet noted the absence of an MG support group in the entire state of SC. With Julian Carnes, Janet co-founded and co-chaired the Low Country SC Myasthenia Gravis Support Group which they formed in November 2010. It was the first MGFA support group established in South Carolina and was the only one for many years. Through this group, Janet and Julian helped countless individuals who have MG, including themselves.
In 2016 the MGFA honored Janet as “Volunteer of the Year” for her tireless dedication and advocacy on behalf of people who have MG and the foundation’s efforts to eradicate this illness.
Susan Klinger, an MGFA Board Chair Emeritus, remembers Janet for her important board work and friendship. “For me, she was not only a fellow patient and board member but a good friend. At the first board meeting I ever attended, which was before I was formally elected, there were no introductions, so I had no idea who anyone was! At the first break, Janet came over to me and introduced herself and we discovered we were both Northeasterners – she grew up in CT and I was from NY. She also told me who was who in the room, so I didn’t feel quite as lost. She was always like that, very upbeat, friendly and informative.”
“At the time she was both the Chair of the Communications committee and the Board Secretary (she took exact minutes by hand) – which gave me quite a challenge since I became Board Secretary after her – and the co-leader of the MD/DE/DC support group. When she moved to South Carolina, she started a support group there. She’d be at all the national conferences, and we’d get a chance to go off together and catch up.”
Janet was also a strong and effective advocate for the elderly and specialized in the areas of federal legislation and regulations that define Medicare benefits and promote nursing home quality. At the National Council of Senior Citizens Janet presented to public policy makers information about the effects of Medicare and Medicaid policy on older Americans. As Director of Regulatory Systems at the American Health Care Association she informed Medicare and Medicaid regulators about the anticipated effects of federal policy on the quality of nursing facilities and the lives of their residents. In her position she was a key member of government committees that created policies governing the use of bed side rails, fire safety regulations, and the use of psychotropic drugs.
The MG Community is lucky to have had such a committed, dedicated volunteer and we will all miss Janet very much. You can read her complete obituary in the link below and we invite you to write comments for her family.
In memory of Janet A. Myder, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:
Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc.
East Cooper Meals On Wheels