I wanted to share an older article from Massage Therapy Canada, Summer 2013. This article is written by Ute Gavel, RMT and shares the story of a remarkable RMT named Marion Lemmon whose dedication and passion to her clients and the profession are inspirational. It’s the time of the year when many students are looking to return to their studies or entering into a new program which can sometimes prove to be a bit overwhelming. It is important to remember that dedication and passion are the first steps to success.
The following is an exert from Gavel’s article entitled Accessing the Possibilites: The Story of Marion Lemmon, RMT:
“Quite simply, I am writing this story because I believe it is an inspirational one for both the novice and the veteran massage therapist. I am a recently retired massage therapist after 20 years in practice. One of the therapists I have had the privilege of getting to know is Marion Lemmon, a registered massage therapist who is involved in providing onsite massage therapy in Ottawa, Ontario. What is so unusual about Marion’s story is that she turned 70 years old on December 31, 2012, and she’s in her 18th year of practice. She began her massage therapy career in 1995 in her 50s at a time when most of us are looking to retire.
HOW MARION MET MASSAGE THERAPY Faced with major changes occurring in the public service arena in the early 1990s, and the fact that her position was being eliminated, Marion Lemmon decided she wanted a change of career. In choosing a new career, she knew she wanted to be self-employed and portable, and to enjoy whatever she decided to do. She enjoyed the arts and felt most at home in the water – but she also enjoyed the mystery of the human body, so she did what she frequently advises others to do and that is “think outside the box.” She discovered that a career in massage therapy could provide a blend of being able to nurture her interests while being suited to her career vision and, so, she established a goal to become a massage therapist and pursued her training to do so.
A BEND IN THE ROAD Originally, Marion was going to open a clinic but happenstance led her down an unfamiliar road shortly after she became a registered massage therapist. She recognized that there were many in the community who could not access massage therapy. In 1995 most therapists who provided onsite treatments did them on a case-by-case basis. No one had a full-time, mobile onsite practice so she made the decision to provide massage therapy to those who could not access care any other way. Now, in 2013, not only is she one of the few therapists to be approaching 20 years in practice but her practice has been one of the most challenging types.
Marion also took the opportunity to become an ambassador for our profession by accepting a position on the board of directors for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Ottawa-Carleton, which became Care for Ottawa in October 2006. This is a national organization known for its outreach programs and home care. Aside from being on the board of directors, she was very involved as a board representative on the Ottawa Day, Stay and Away Committees, Secretary of the Board, a member of the Executive Committee and on the Transition Task Force. Most recently, I have nominated Marion for the Ken Resynk Achievement Award with the RMTAO.
Marion is an inspirational example of what can happen when we think of ourselves as more than just individual therapists treating individuals, and begin to see ourselves as an integral part of the health-care community and therefore part of the evolution and improvement of patient care.
We are never too old to follow a new path or learn something new!”
Please visit the following link for Gavel’s entire article: