Founding Members

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

ElectLive

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
631
Location
Atlanta, GA
I'm pretty new around here, and just noticed in the stats how many active members there actually are. Over 1,500 is pretty impressive. I don't know any of the history of this site, but looks like it started in 2001. I assume the initial membership was very small.

Now, in addition to the founder, Hank, obviously the strength of any support community such as this is the members themselves. Given the amazing resource this has grown into, I'm wondering: who are the few, the proud, who were there in the beginning, who helped make it all happen, and who are still active today?

So, please, all you founding members (let's just say join date 2001 to 2002) still out there, reply below, stand up, and take a bow. Thanks so much to you all.
 

Bina

Premium Level User
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
12,699
Location
East Ontario, Canada
El, the original group was comprised of only email members, before the forums came along.
We used to have a link posted somewhere showing a sample of it. Maybe one of our "oldies" can search it out.
 

epstns

Premium User
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
5,095
Location
Chicago area
EL - I am a "late 2002" member. I was diagnosed in September of 2002 and joined here in December, 2002. By that time the bulletin board format was up and running for some months. I am still friends with a number of local folks who were, I believe, among the original members. (We meet a couple of times a year for brunch.) One of them mentions coming home from work to read and answer 100 emails from valvers. In a way, it may have seemed more personal - using email and all, but much more work to get the word out when something was up.

For a while there were also annual reunions. There is still a forum here for them, but as far as I know there is none planned for this year. The only one I was able to attend was the October, 2003 reunion here in Chicago. That was where I got to meet even more of the members, since some came from not only all across the US, but other countries as well. It really is a special group of people.
 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
5,204
Location
Far side of the moon
Best way to find out about the old days is to scroll to the bottom of any page, click on Archive, then open it and go to the first page of posts in Heart Talk.
 

ElectLive

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
631
Location
Atlanta, GA
Thanks for sharing. Sounds like the spirit of this place from the beginning is what made it all happen. I've only clicked on a few threads so far in the Archive, and already see lots of familiar names.
 

hensylee

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
11,656
Location
snowy - Sharpsburg, Ga USA
the first vr bunch was a group who got together in WebMD, I think. The first posts were email type. I don't know if they are in any archives and the forum has changed from time to time in format. Of the original 8 members, several are still around - I would name the ones I can think of but might leave someone out so one of the oldies needs to fill in that part.

I came along in April 2000 after surgery in March 2000. Finding VR was accidental for me. I had undergone quad bypass, didn't have a clue what it was all about so began a search, ended up in here and in Dr Rich over in about.com. I was a total regular until about a yr and a half ago when I moved and life changed for me. I built an addition to daughter's home in another state from where I had lived. I have not been active due to all this, but I check in as often as I can. Rob that's me came in just before I did. So many have come and gone since 2000 and many of us have become close friends and lots attend reunions annually or even when a small group in a particular area want to visit each other, that happens, too. We have a wee group in Arizona who meet for lunch weekly.

There is much history in these posts and our membership grew and grew and grew. Once in awhile we hear from somebody who shows back up after yrs of being away. We are never surprised at this since we are such a close friendly group of people. We have seen babies born, children grow up, some members get married (or divorced), kinda just like a family with all a family experiences. We have cried, laughed, helped each other, had arguments and got them straight - but here we are after all those years and are still a family. The main focus is still the most important. It being help from/to each other about valve replacement and all that goes with it.

All because of Hank.

I hope you will stay around for years, too.

Blessins..........
 

JimL

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2002
Messages
1,534
Location
Imlay City, Michigan
It is still possible to go to the list of members under community, click on join date, and go to the last page for the first members. I joined a couple months into 2002, and made it to two wonderful reunions.
 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
5,204
Location
Far side of the moon
It is still possible to go to the list of members under community, click on join date, and go to the last page for the first members. I joined a couple months into 2002, and made it to two wonderful reunions.
Well I learned something today.:eek2: Thanks Jim. I had no idea we could filter members according to join date, and sure enough, when I checked the last page, there were all the "old" members.:thumbup:
I joined in August 2004 but got demoted when I went MIA for a bit.:tongue2:
 

ElectLive

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
631
Location
Atlanta, GA
Those original 8 have quite the extended family now, and the family atmosphere clearly permeates throughout. I'm certainly looking forward to sticking around. I'm pretty amazed looking at the first few pages of the member list, seeing all the dates of last visit that are so recent, as well as the # of posts. Wow.
 

epstns

Premium User
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
5,095
Location
Chicago area
This site is better than the families we grew up with. Most everyone here has been through some form of valve issue, so they just know more about what we're going through.
 

azpam

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Messages
282
Location
Tucson,Arizona
Hi Electlive! I am part of the "weekly" lunches that Hensylee talked about. We do get together every tuesday and chit chat about everything not just heart stuff. We have become friends and care about what each are going through in their daily lives. Everyone comes from all walks of life and have different experiences in sometimes the same or similiar issues. Alot of great info here on the site so feel free to share, ask, or get to know the members.
 

ShezaGirlie

VR.org Donator
Joined
Jun 9, 2001
Messages
1,837
Location
Texas Hill Country
Hi there and welcome to VR. Here's a pic taken in San Antonio in December of 2000 when we got together....wow, going on 11 years ago. I joined in late 1999 as did the others below.

We were still e-mailing in those days and we were a very small group. Here are most of the members then - L to R - Virgil (Rain's husband), Rain, yeah real name (Rain), Janie (ShezaGirlie), Hank (our founder), Michelle (Hank's wife) and Kay (DickV's wife). In back are Dick (DickV) and Gina (LuvmyBirman). We had a great time!
 

Attachments

Latest posts

Top