/, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, Jill's Journal, Men's Health/Why I won’t forget Bard-Alan Finlan, a good man who fought for the rights of IC patients.

Why I won’t forget Bard-Alan Finlan, a good man who fought for the rights of IC patients.

Bard-AlanIn the thousands of patients who have contacted the Interstitial Cystitis Network in the past twenty years, there are several who have created indelible memories. I met Bard more than a decade ago when he called for help with his disability discrimination claims against his employer, Verizon. Bard faced outrageous discrimination at his job, often by female superiors. One went so far as to re-label the men’s restroom as a women’s restroom to force Bard to walk a longer distance to use the restroom. His battle for disability accommodation and all of the stress associated with a hostile workplace occupied years of his life.

In our many conversations over the years, I could hear the stress and strain in Alan’s voice. The frustration that his employers refused to take IC seriously, the exasperation that something as simple as restroom access was a source of conflict, the anger that they could treat any disabled employee so poorly and, in our last conversation, the peace that he had finally found when he was reassigned to a small office, near his home. He fought the good fight.

My last email from Bard came in June when he shared the newspaper story about a school in San Diego that told students that they could only have two restroom passes a year. At least one young girl felt so terrorized that she feared using the restroom at all and eventually developed a severe illness. Bard was outraged. A few weeks before, he disagreed with a blog I wrote about the use of antibiotics to treat IC flares. He said that he used an antibiotic if a flare lasted longer than 3 days to help fight the inflammation that occurred. I loved the fact that he calmly and rationally spoke his mind. We respected each other tremendously.

Thus, it is with great sadness that I share that Bard died suddenly Monday, ironically, at work. He died doing the job that he fought long and hard for. He proved that someone with IC can be and was a good employee. I’m sure that he intended to work until he retired because he wanted to provide for his wife and three sons. The world has lost a very good and decent man.

Fare thee well Bard-Alan Finlan. You will be greatly missed.



By |2017-01-31T10:13:01+00:00July 8th, 2015|Disability, Interstitial Cystitis Network Blog, Jill's Journal, Men's Health|Comments Off on Why I won’t forget Bard-Alan Finlan, a good man who fought for the rights of IC patients.

About the Author:

My Google Profile+ Jill Heidi Osborne is the president and founder of the Interstitial Cystitis Network, a health education company dedicated to interstitial cystitis, bladder pain syndrome and other pelvic pain disorders. As the editor and lead author of the ICN and the IC Optimist magazine, Jill is proud of the academic recognition that her website has achieved. The University of London rated the ICN as the top IC website for accuracy, credibility, readability and quality. (Int Urogynecol J - April 2013). Harvard Medical School rated both Medscape and the ICN as the top two websites dedicated to IC. (Urology - Sept 11). Jill currently serves on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Panel (US Army) where she collaborates with researchers to evaluate new IC research studies for possible funding. Jill has conducted and/or collaborates on a variety of IC research studies on new therapeutics, pain care, sexuality, the use of medical marijuana, menopause and the cost of treatments, shining a light on issues that influence patient quality of life. An IC support group leader and national spokesperson for the past 20 years, she has represented the IC community on radio, TV shows, at medical conferences. She has written hundreds of articles on IC and its related conditions. With a Bachelors Degree in Pharmacology and a Masters in Psychology, Jill was named Presidential Management Intern (aka Fellowship) while in graduate school. (She was unable to earn her PhD due to the onset of her IC.) She spends the majority of her time providing WELLNESS COACHING for patients in need and developing new, internet based educational and support tools for IC patients, including the “Living with IC” video series currently on YouTube and the ICN Food List smartphone app! Jill was diagnosed with IC at the age of 32 but first showed symptoms at the age of 12.