February 19, 2008
Leslie Plotnick, left, and Wanda King
When her daughter, Katie, was diagnosed with pediatric diabetes at the age of 13, Wanda King turned to Johns Hopkins. “I wanted the best for her,” she says, “and that’s what I got.”
In the care of pediatric endocrinologist Leslie Plotnick, pediatric nurse educator Loretta Clark and the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center diabetes team, Katie’s life was returned to a normal and healthy trajectory. “The care from Leslie and Loretta, and the training in diabetes management, has meant the world to us,” says King, whose daughter is now an active college student. “They restored to me the idea that Katie could have the best life possible.”
In appreciation, King contributed $1.3 million in 2001 toward establishment of a Professorship for Clinical Care and Research in Pediatric Endocrinology. “I’ve been happy to help. Leslie deserves it,” she says.
Last March, with a supporting gift from the Nicholl Family Foundation, Inc., and others, the professorship was established and Plotnick named Johns Hopkins’ inaugural Clinical Care and Research Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology. Thanks to an additional gift from Richard and Kathryn Radmer and the Nicholls to support diabetes education, Loretta Clark was named the inaugural recipient of a Pediatric Diabetes Nurse Educator Endowment.
All attended the dedication ceremony for both at Johns Hopkins. The professorship is the 12th endowed chair in the history of pediatrics at Hopkins. Like its predecessors, it was created with appreciation and on behalf of others.
Peter and Terri Nicholl’s daughter Meg, diagnosed at 10, is a diabetes patient of Plotnick’s. “Even with the diagnosis we proceeded with our lives as on any normal day,” said Peter Nicholl, a diabetic himself, at the dedication. “Why? These people. You were a beacon of hope for us. We followed the light to a safe harbor. Now we can give that to other families whose lives are capsized by diabetes.”
Alex Leonard, also a patient, was diagnosed at age 8 by his mother, Amanda Radmer Leonard, a dietitian in pediatric gastroenterology. “My grandson was so fortunate to get into the diabetes management program [in the Eudowood Division of Pediatric Endocrinology], where we’ve gotten state-of-the-art care,” says Richard Radmer. “Given the overwhelming demand for its services, we decided to help it grow.”