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In Memoriam - Melanie Mattson

by: DemFromCT

Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 07:20:17 AM EDT

Melanie Mattson was one of the founding Editors of the Flu Wiki, its initial "public face," the official publisher, and our colleague. More importantly she was our friend. We are grieved to announce her unexpected death.

On her blog, Just a Bump in the Beltway, Melanie was among the first on the internet to understand and write about the significance of reported human cases of avian influenza as a potential harbinger of a pandemic. She joined forces with us to start the Flu Wiki in June 2005 where she was a dedicated and innovative practitioner of a new medium, collective information generation and dissemination. At the time of her death she was engaged in expanding what she learned from her blog and Flu Wiki to a wide range of natural disasters.

Melanie was a wonderful human being, a lovely person and a Grand Lady in every sense of that term. Melanie sometimes used salty language, could be bluntly honest and had an irreverent and earthy sense of humor, so she would no doubt be amused to be referred to as a Grand Lady. But that's what she was and still survives in the affection of those of us fortunate to have known her. She'll be missed.

-DemFromCT, the Reveres, pogge

DemFromCT :: In Memoriam - Melanie Mattson
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My deepest condolences to
you Dem, pogge and to her family and friends.

United we stand: Divided we fall

Like Ree, I felt Melanie was a friend.
Even though we never corresponded personally, I felt like I knew her well. Her whole personality came across in her writings. She has done an amazing amount to help the whole world. I will miss her, and I know so many others will, too.

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

[ Parent ]
She is missed elsewhere as well

"Though the early indications suggest she died of a heart attack on june 26th, i believe they'll report that "she died at home after an extended illness" and leave it at that, as she had been struggling with pancreatitis at the time of her death. and was asthmatic, to boot."

From Skippy: http://xnerg.blogspot.com/2008...

 News story and photo from 2006 about Melanie:
"It's Flu Wiki, a Web site maintained by a 52-year-old writer who specializes in risk communication. It draws in part on contributions from people who don't reveal their names, much like Wikipedia, an encyclopedic Web site that lets anyone contribute."

 One more light has passed and not the better for it.

'   . . .   '

So sad......
I had been interested in the H5N1 virus for quite awhile but couldn't find much news on it. Then one day I read an article on the internet about Melanie and that was how I found out about Fluwiki. My sincere thanks to her for her good work and my deepest sympathy to her family and friends.  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


Rest in peace, Melanie
Very sad news. I remember that she was ill. My condolences to her family and friends. I hope she knew how much everyone out here in flublogia appreciated everything she did. I'm sure she did, of course.  

She made such a difference by her words and actions.  She has saved so many lives.  A true hero has been lost.  My sympathy goes to all her family, friends, and loved ones.  We will all miss her.  I give thanks we had her and her wisdom for the time we did.  

My Condolences As Well
To her friends and family, and to all of Flublogia who owe her a great deal.  

Melanie, you will be missed.

I am not a doctor, and nothing I write should be construed as specific medical advice.

She made a difference
Ultimately, one measure of a life is whether they made a difference in the lives of others.  Melanie made a difference in many lives.  When the next flu pandemic arises, tomorrow or in the next decade, what she helped create here on the FluWiki will show its worth.  For many, myself included, it has already shown its worth by affecting the attitudes and lifestyles of readers seeking to be better prepared for hard and difficult times.  She made a difference.

Melanie, you did good.

My love to Melanie ...
... and to all her colleagues here and her family and friends.

Melanie was so kind to me when I first popped up online at pogge's place. I used to love going over to Bump early in the mornings to see who she had already vanquished before I'd even made the coffee. And I admire so much what you all have built here, and the inspired commitment that Melanie's early work contributed to this project.

It's hard to accept that we can't talk to her any more. I shall miss that strong, clear voice so much.  

My Deepest Condolences
I send my deepest sympathies to all here who knew and worked with Melanie. She was a very special person and will be missed by all who knew her, read her many posts and blogs, and by those who never knew who she was, but, because of her foresight, are now aware of the importance of being informed and being prepared. She will be sorely missed!

Respect, admiration, and gratitude
are just a few of the feelings I have for this wonderful intelligent, kind and classy woman.  I have missed her postings on the Flu Wiki for some time and now to know that we will never again have the opportunity to hear from her makes it a double loss.  My prayers are with her, her family, and her friends.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

She will be missed
for her kindness, for her humor, for her feistiness, and yes, for her irreverence.  She had the vision to lead at a time when most of us were oblivious to both the dangers of avian flu and the promise that the new media can bring.  The suddenness of her passing is a great shock to her family and friends and all who care, tempered perhaps only by the thought that she would have absolutely detested any prolonged illness.  It is small consolation, for losing a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a colleague, a friend.  And yet all we can do is to remember her in the good times - the conversations, online and offline, the sharing of ideas, and especially that one special evening when she and I made a feast of the very limited room service options in my hotel room, washed down by a bottle of wine, neither of us being in the mood for any position other than reclining on the couch and exchanging gossips.  It was grand.  It was pure Melanie.  I shall miss her.  May she rest in peace.


All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

A very sad day in Flublogia.

She will be missed.

I thank her for helping me understand what we are facing.

I owe her my gratitude in helping me prepare my family and the small circle I have been able to reach.

Rest in peace.

Tell the truth

This community we have here is so unlike anything I've ever experienced.  I do feel as though I've lost a friend, though I never had the chance to meet her. I hope that doesn't sound presumtuous to those of you who really were her friends.

And I loved her recipes!

There's a hole in the fabric of the world today.

Melanie Mattson - We've lost a good leader
Melanie's contribution to the madness that is H5N1 surveillance was deep and important.  She will be missed.

God Speed.

Just rolling along, making waves and causing trouble...

What sad news
My condolences to her friends and family.

Her contributions to the avian flu community (and others) won't be forgotten.

She was a person who truly made a difference!

Much to thank her for
I'm so sorry to hear that Melanie Mattson is no longer here with us.  My condolences to her friends and family and to all of the Flu Wiki community. Even those of us who never knew her recognize the debt of gratitude we owe her, along with the other founders of Flu Wiki. Hers was a remarkable life.  

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.  ~Edith Wharton

Your flame may have gone out, but your light will shine around the world for a long, long time.

For Melanie
I give you this one thought to keep -
I am with you still -  I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone -  
I am with you still -  in each new dawn
~~ Author Unknown ~~  

Terribly sad-
To hear of the passing of Melanie.  She was one of the posters/mods who kept drawing me back to FluWiki, way back when.  I allways enjoyed her posts, her snappy retorts, and yes, her recipies.  She has done a great and good work.  She will be missed.

I am so sorry
to hear of her passing. A sad day indeed. My condolences to all who knew her well..

Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy. Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have all lost a soul mate. n/t

it's wonderful to hear from friends old and new
and I am certain Melanie would have appreciated that.

Thanks, all.

Too young to be gone.....
My deepest sympathy to all of Melanie's friends, colleagues and family. Sad news indeed.

I am so sorry to hear this. She will be truly missed. My sympathy goes out to her family.

She will be missed.
My condolences to her family and friends.

You arm yourself to the teeth just in case.  You don't leave the gun near the baby's hand.

My deepest sympathy to family and friends
She will be missed but never forgotten.

no data, period

sorry, she's dead.We had a few emails about her pancreatitis, I knew
it was painful but didn't think she would die.
Of course, I appreciated her work, her numerous posts in 2006,
but she was always one of the strongest opponents for getting panflu probability estimates, so in that sense I think she contributed negatively
to more rational panflu-awareness, risk communication and
appropriate preparation.
But she wasn't much active since long and nevertheless nobody except me
really seemed to be interested in this, sigh.

Just recently I first had noticed that she was marked "emeritus" here.

ask experts for their subjective
panflu death expectation values
and report the replies

[ Parent ]
There are many more tributes to Melanie and some stories about her,
just follow Kobie's links above, starting with Skippy's blog.  

Melanie had a big influence on so many people.  I'm grateful for the help she gave all of us with the first FluWiki.  Her life made a difference that we'll feel for a long time.  It's very saddening to realize that she's gone.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

An interview with Melanie from 2004

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
see also this from 2005:
July 1, 2005
Flu Wiki

Posted by Ross Mayfield

During the SARS epidemic I noted that a Wikipedia page was the best source of information for an evolving event. Now three bloggers have launched a new experiment in collaborative problem solving in public health, The Flu Wiki. They hope the wiki will be:

  * a reliable source of information, as neutral as possible, about important facts useful for a public health approach to pandemic influenza
  * a venue for anticipating the vast range of problems that may arise if a pandemic does occur
  * a venue for thinking about implementable solutions to foreseeable problems

What can you and two of your friends start to change the world?

[ Parent ]
Also this:

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
Deepest respect.
If you can be measured by how many strangers mourn your passing, Melanie was a mega star. A shining light who proved that every one of us can make a difference.

Melanie was a Pioneer
devoting her time and efforts to, in the end, what turned out to be each of us.  Many thanks, and my condolences to all those who loved her and worked with her.  

thank you, Pixie
and thank Monotreme and the PFI folks for their kind words.

[ Parent ]
In passing -
Being a relative newcomer to FW, I did not have the same opportunities as you all to know Melanie. But given the number of heartfelt posts that I just read, it seems that there is an Angel in Heaven looking over all those that are carrying to torch forward in the Eartly battle that is being waged against PanFlu.  

www.EmergencyHomePreparation.org -- A 'card-catalog' style of prepping information.   -

We are so sad.
Peter and I are so shocked and sad about Melanie's death.

Peter met Melanie in person; I corresponded with her over time. We talked pandemic flu, philosophy, health insurance, music -- and I even enjoyed trying some of her posted recipes!

Melanie always seemed to engage with the world with the sense that time is short. We will try to do this as well.

Jody Lanard and Peter Sandman

thanks, Jody
your and Peter's kind words are much appreciated.

[ Parent ]
"Melanie always seemed to engage with the world with the sense that time is short"
Jody, I wonder if she had any sense of her own short time...

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

[ Parent ]
So sorry to hear of Malanie's passing. She was the reason I became informed of pandemic influenza and have taken steps to prepare.  

Another light goes out in the world

I was deeply saddened to hear of Melanie's passing.  Like so many others, I was drawn to Fluwikie because I heard her message on TV; a little research on Google, and a splash landing into the forum later, and my life was changed forever.  Melanie was smart, insightful, funny and equipped with a mighty b.s. detector; and because of and through her postings, she helped all of us gain an insight on pandemic flu.

 I know I will miss her.

God bless~

No one is prepared for a pandemic that starts tomorrow.

www.citizencorps.gov -- Get involved!

Never Doubt
Many of us are probably familiar with the quote, from another pioneering woman, Margaret Mead.
"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Melanie was one of those types of people. Her legacy, in part, will be many lives saved in the event of a Category (high) Pandemic. Thanks, Melanie, for your service and thanks as well to all who supported, enabled and encouraged her.

Honest dialogue, and an openness to learning will lead to the best possible solution to any problem.

Gone, but not forgotten
Farewell Melanie

My condolences to those close to her, including those in this virtual community. She's left an important legacy that I am personally greatful for. As an aside, it is heartwarming to see all your names and comments tho the circumstances are sad...

Thank you Melanie
Your work has truly changed my life, thank you

My sincere condolences
So sorry to hear about her passing.

She, and the rest of the founders of fluwiki, changed my thinking about preparing for possible problems, including pandemics. I am forever grateful.

Her death-so young-is devastating
I never had the pleasure of meeting her, but learned alot about pandemic flu and flublogia from her. Took quite a few recipes from her own blogsite as well.

I hope she didn't suffer. Still find it hard to believe.

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

re: Melanie
I was very sorry to hear the sad news. My condolences to her family and friends.

So sad to hear of her passing
Her strong opinions were freely voiced, but always balanced with a kind heart. Melanie was dedicated to helping others, a straight-up lady that I came to deeply respect. She made a positive difference in the lives of many people, myself included.

My condolences to all who knew and loved her.

She will be missed, but not forgotten.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke

I first found out about Avian influenza through her blog and then later through Flu Wiki.  Thank you Melanie for opening my eyes -- you were truly effective at risk communication and more.  Condolences to her family and all her friends here at Flu Wiki.

A heart felt Thanks to Melanie
On Old yella, she was truly a driving force for me.  Everyone should know that through her efforts in alerting the "public" She (and others) succeeded far beyond their initial expectations on the power of a blog.

Not only were there spin-off blogs (and just as good, and said lovingly) but they have all strong leaders that were passionate.

Melanie had passion!  And she shared it whenever she could..... whether we wanted to hear it or not. :)  She was a wonderful person.

I have missed Melanie, since she took her leave of absense.  But she has touched the lives of many.... because many of us are now making a difference in our communities.... teaching and preparing for pandemics ...... because she had vision.

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. ~ Margaret Mead

You did good.....
While you have passed on suddenly, your legacy will live on and evolve, helping many others along the way.

Rest in Peace knowing you did good kid.

Really really good.

I salute you.

-- "You're going to be staying home for one year. There will be no school, there will be no work... all we'll be doing is trying to keep ourselves alive." Richard Canas, NJ Homeland Security Director

Sorry to hear this sad news
It is difficult to know where ones influence in the world ends.  Who can say how many lives may be saved because of Melanie's work.  Who can count the misery missed and the heartache avoided because of Fluwikie.  I am sure many of us have taken material right from fluwikie to share with our neighbors and friends.  My own DH has used Fluwikie to help prepare his lectures at medical conferences.    

To me fluwikie has always felt being invited up to a really smart neighbors porch for a sobering talk and with many laughs.  I have always felt welcome and informed.  

Melanie as our gracious hostess you will be missed and many, many thanks


Oh wow.. I just found this out..
And I just finished a diary post hoping she'd read it and comment...


She, and everyone here, have already saved lives.  She will live in my mind as someone I respect and greatly appreciate.

Here's to the child of her concern and charity... keep her going!

old friends
Nice to have this bumped back to the top at this time.  Great to see so many "old friends" back at the different boards/forums.  Just because some only read now and don't post as much, we think they've gone on.  Not so.  We're all here, working the problem.  Melanie would be proud.  She is missed.

This is so sad, even after this years, I still can't beleived. I Hope, that She rest in peace

plastic surgery prices pictures before and after


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