It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I write this post. My mentee and friend, Jeanne May, passed away last week. I had known her online since 2006, and she was one of my first students. Very quickly she became much more than that. I considered Jeanne to be my friend, mastermind partner, and confidant. She will be missed by many, including people from six continents, whose lives she touched.
I knew Jeanne for more than a year before I knew anything of her medical condition. She was born with a genetic disorder known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and was not expected to live past her first birthday. Her parents believed in her, and fought to keep her alive. Jeanne defied the odds and lived until her fifties, unheard of in most cases of SMA.
Jeanne never walked, could not use a telephone, and couldn’t type on a keyboard. Just think about that for a moment. Yet she was able to complete post-graduate studies, build her own websites, and touch people from around the world with her wisdom, compassion, and uplifting message of goals and aspirations. She also did quite well with her internet business, selling her writing, e-courses, and coaching.
Several years ago Jeanne traveled to Outer Mongolia in China. Her friends carried her in her wheelchair up the steep hill to the Great Wall. When I visited the Great Wall this past November I finally realized how difficult life was for her physically, and how strong she was emotionally.
Last summer Jeanne and I began talking about twice a week, using headphones with Yahoo messenger. She was still working for me, submitting articles and editing the writing of some of my students. At some point she asked me to continue her work after she was gone. I am an administrator of her group on Facebook, and I intend to keep my promise.
Jeanne, I loved you like a sister, and I will tell people about you for the rest of my life. I want others to know how much you inspired me and thousands of others from around the world.