Margaret Rome's Blog


Lee Rome Award 2018

It was an honor and a priviledge to make  the following presentation, today May 31,2018, at Franklin Square Hospital.

From a grateful wife.


Ten years ago I wrote a book. The dedication read.  

''To Lee: I made a wish and you came true”


 Yesterday would have been our 50th Anniversary! 


  17 years ago he got a big diagnosis. His cancer was very rare,

  usually found in extremities of younger people...

not in the abdomen touching every major organ and not in someone his age..

Prognosis nil. No chance of survival.

One of the biggest

 hospitals in world wanted to do radiation and chemo immediately. With such a poor diagnosis why would you put him through this ordeal!!?


It was through the dedication, brilliance, caring, kindness and treatment  of this hospital's family medicine department that we got another 13 years and most of that was quality...real quality of life.


Our orchestra leader, Dr Joyce King, was in charge. Taking 100s if not 1000s of calls from my beautiful husband... and not once making Lee feel like he was a bother. To this day I don’t know how she did it all.

And Dr King even taught my Lee at the age of 80  how to text. Not an easy task. Even though he was a Wharton graduate and CEO, he did not use technology. It was fun watching.


The most amazing part of his ongoing care was the way he was treated first as a person ..not a patient. Whenever  Dr. King saw Lee...she really looked at him. Most doctors walk in the room while reading a history that was given to someone else.


No question that Dr. King had already read the labs, x-rays, scans etc but she asked how he was doing. How was he really doing and she  really wanted to know. Amazing how well she knew her patient.

And she listened!

We had two criteria that gave us his condition. If he was not eating and not watching TV...he was in critical condition. I remember once when he was obstructed...had an NG tube, NPO for nine days...he was a sick cookie and they were talking about emergency surgery. That surgery, in my opinion, would have killed him...since he was not healing from a surgical wound.


And miraculously the obstruction opened up.

I forced some old fashioned prune juice  down a disconnected NG tube. Of course this was without doctors orders. Within minutes...he was hungry and was eating roast beef sandwiches and the TV was on quite loud.

Family medicine was delighted, we celebrated. The surgeon may have been cheated out of a procedure but it was a happy day and Lee was up and ready to go home



During these 13 years we saw a lot of specialists.  When making a list there were 2 dozen including:


Family medicine, Oncology Surgeon, Oncologist,  General surgeon, Orthopedic oncology, Pulmonologist, Cardiologist, Chemo-therapist, Radiologists, Proton Beam, GU, GI surgeon, Renal specialist, Plastic surgeon, Inhalation therapist, Hypobaric Chamber, Wound care and Wound vac, Physical therapy, Psychiatrist, Sleep apnea, Inhalation therapy, Oxygen therapy, Infusion platelets and more.


Like an orchestra leader  Dr. King  was personally in touch with and in tune with each of them! 


There was one time  I felt no one was  seeing my LEE ROME,  they were seeing a sick old man.

I scanned a couple of photos onto my  iPad. They were from our honeymoon.. 50 years ago. I shared the pictures with anyone who came in to the hospital room... doctors nurses, cleaning personnel, food service and visitors. 

The response:

"Oh Mr. Rome, you were a hunk, look how handsome.

There was an immediate, amazing and positive change in his condition.  


This is one of the most important things I can leave you with.

Look at the patient before the illness.

Encourage family photos when they were vibrant, well and happy.


That is what you do under DR. JOYCE KING.

You look at the entire person not just the sick part.

For that I will always be grateful!


Thank you Dr. Joyce King and all the lucky physicians

who have the privilege of emulating this kind of care!


Congratulations to Dr. Jordon Gottchalk, recipient of the

Lee Rome Award.

and to the

Family Medicine Residency Class of 2018


Margaret Rome

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I have no words that seem adequate but do want to say what a beautiful way to honor the memory of your husband.

Posted by Greg Large, A Tradition of Trust (ERA Real Solutions) 23 days ago

Great team all working for Lee's recovery, glad that it bought him many more years of quality time with you Margaret.

Happy 50th Anniversary! 

I am sure that he is still with you on this day and enjoying this memorial.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) 23 days ago

Your idea about youthful photos is a great one! My Mother had dementia, and we eventually had to put her in an Alzheimer's unit. I shared once with a staff member that Mom had been a welder during WW II, a real Rosie the Riveter who often worked in the turrets because she was so small. From that time on, they recognized her every time they honored veterans. It meant so much to her, and it made the staff see something different about her.

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) 22 days ago

The kind heart and love you have for your husband shine. I'm happy Dr. King was his caregiver and you his constant advocate. 

Posted by Caroline Gerardo, C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady (Eagle Home Mortgage, LENNAR HOMES Home Loans) 22 days ago

Margaret, this was inspiring, however, also saddening. While reading through the list of specialists I didn't see the name of its most important member there. You know me well enough to realize where this is heading. The missing name is Margaret Rome, Lee's most significant and critical supporter. May God Bless You!

Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) 22 days ago

Greg Large Your words are more than adequate and I so appreciate your call today.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

Bob Crane I am so very thankful for having Lee in my life for many years. I do think he would be proud of this award in his name. 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago


Liz Lockhart Beautiful story and so glad you shared. This would make a wonderful blog post. Would like to get this message out to everyone.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

That's an amazing idea.  Someone I cherish is currently in the hospital with a physical illness that may do her in.  I'll have to share the idea with her husband. It's dreadful when you are seen as only a patient and not a person.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) 22 days ago

Tammy Lankford, You will be doing something very special by having some pictures, of your special person, around for others to see. It will also help her husband.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

Hi Margaret- I must have had a senior moment yesterday because I thought I'd already commented on this. I was sad and at the same time I was smiling reading your post about Lee. You two had a beautiful love story, which is very evident in your words when you speak of him. 

I think it is a brilliant idea to bring in pictures of the patient when they were younger or doing something other than being a  patient because that's really all that the hospital staff knows of them. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 22 days ago

Good evening Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland,

Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a loving wife you were to Lee. I love the idea of making everyone see your loved one when they were a vibrant human not just a patient. I'm thrilled Dr. King was his caregiver and you his greatest and  constant advocate. You're honoring Lee in such a special way.

Posted by Dorie Dillard, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) 22 days ago

Kathy Streib If we could all get the word out to have photos, when we go to a hospital, senior living, nursing home etc. Good happy vibrant photos of the patient... give others a chance to ask questions and talk about things other than medical condition. 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

Dorie Dillard Honoring My Lee helps keep the memories alive!

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

That is a seriously moving and touching post about your primary doctor and the outstanding level of care and service you and your husband received.  I'm glad you got an additional 13 quality years of life together after the diagnosis.

Posted by Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA, Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties ( 22 days ago

Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA It was the entire Family Medicine Team, trained by Dr. King, that gave superb care. 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

Margaret, what a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this heart-touching information. Hopefully, none of us will ever need it, but I know that is a little more optimistic than realistic. Nontheless, we'll be better armed if we do. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 22 days ago

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland 
Yes, I followed your advice when my husband was undergoing the treatments week after week. I followed the Margaret Rome personalization method so the nurses saw a cherished person, not a sick old man.

We brought a large flower arrangement to the nurses each week. As he became progessively weaker, I had to drop him off before parking. He used his remaining strength to go in and greet the staff on his own. "Oh, hello there Flower Man! " was their greeting to him each week.

Yes, my dear Margaret, I followed your advice. Murray was known and greeted as a person, someone welcomed by the nurses each time - not just another body to be treated. Thanks again for the advice!!! Lynn

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) 22 days ago

Hello Margaret, wonderful post and congrats on your feature.

Please stop by my latest post about reaching out to ActiveRain members that are following me at the AR network, your name showed up #195 on my list ;o)

Please not: The number order has nothing to do with who's my favorite, I am going from the first page of followers and I am on page 57 and there approx 12 members per page.

Featured to the group:   


Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) 22 days ago

Lynn B. Friedman And for you, it is still so fresh and new. Murray was so blessed to have your love. Please continue to take care of yourself.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

Robert Vegas Bob Swetz  Proud to be on your list and thank you for the feature. Amazing how much you are doing on AR! How do you keep track of so many groups??

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

May he live on forever and ever and ever and may we always be inspired to the fullest!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 22 days ago

And only makes more sense when you notice how this type of thing impacts others, Margaret

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 22 days ago

This is beautiful, Margaret! It was my privilege to spend some time with you and Lee at an Activerain event one evening about 10 years ago, and your bond was palpable. Whenever you mentioned Lee throughout the years, I had a flashback to that evening. Congratulations to you for creating this award to recognize Lee and the physicians who gave you all those “extra” years with the love of your life!

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) 22 days ago

What a wonderful shout-out to a doctor, and entire department, that treated Lee as a person. I love your idea of using photos to bring the person back into the equation. 

An annual award that recognizes humanism in medicine is a fantastic idea.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, 22 days ago

Who doesn't benefit from a "Rome Alert"...?

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 22 days ago

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland I had goose bumps reading your post.   What a team you put together.  Of course, he had the best nurse in town .   And the best advice of all - to remember the patient before he became ill.  It is often easy to forget, but that is a great reminder to us all.  I'm sorry I never had the pleasure of meeting Lee, but I bet he was some hunk!

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL - (561) 716-7824 - CRS, ABR, GRI (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) 22 days ago

Hi Margaret

What a wonderful testimonial, thank you, memory, and so much more wrapped up this heartfelt post. Thank goodness for doctors like Dr. King, and others in the medical profession...they are more rare than they should be!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) 22 days ago

Amazing doctors like Dr. Joyce King are few and far between.  Good for you for honoring her.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) 22 days ago

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland very emotional wonderful memories.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) 22 days ago

Simply beautiful - and a great testatment to never giving up! Many people would have heard that diagnosis and done just that.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) 22 days ago

What a lovely post, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland .  I wish I'd thought of this while my husband was ill.  I was able to care for him at home so he wasn't in the hospital more than a few days at a time.  I will certainly keep this advice in mind to share with anyone I know going through the challenges of end of life treatment.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) 22 days ago

I still remember the kindness and support of my main cancer doctor. When I told him that my doctor in Oklahoma City gave me a 55% chance of survival he told me that they didn't work that way. It is either 100% or 0% and let;s ficus on 100% becasue that is the direction we are heading for.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 22 days ago

Carol Williams You, too, were fortunate to be able to care for your husband at home. Hope we can all share a bit of this advice. Always a pleasure to see you and how much you do for all of us on AR

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 22 days ago

Joe Pryor Focus on the 100%! What a great doctor you had. Wishing you much continued good health!

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 21 days ago

Margaret, this is sad and so beautiful at the same time.  I remember learning of Lee's passing. It seems like it was just a month or so ago.  Your love story lives on.  This is a lovely tribute and expression of gratitude for the loving, kind and gentle care Lee received. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) 21 days ago

Poignant post, Margaret! You know, as former nurses, we love finding that 'perfect' doctor who is not only incredibly good at what he/she does but, had a heart...a hefty does of compassion and actually LISTENS. That is just SO rare and I am thankful that Lee found just that in Dr. King. 

I love that you are keeping his memory alive with the award as well - this is just another reason to adore you, Margaret. Your heart is bigger than you are!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 21 days ago

Dear Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland 

Happy 50th Anniversary. Margaret, I mean that sincerely. As a widow, it always made me sad when people I knew and loved forgot our wedding anniversary after his death. After all, like you, I am the better half and survivor. Yet the part of society where I came from, didn't see it that way. Nonetheless, I continue to celebrate alone every June 26. Within the next few weeks, I will celebrate my 47th anniversary of which I only had the privilege of sharing a small fraction, 16 years. For any woman from my generation or yours who stayed in a marriage for as long as you did, is truly an honorable woman, and Lee must have been an extraordinary man.  

Because my husband was also in the Medical field, Paramedic, for a Volunteer Rescue Squad in the community in which we lived, I wish I could have done more for the community. If I had thought of what you did, it would have been in honor of Raeann Fuller, Nurse, who I credit sustained life for him for an additional 3 months. Nothing else compares to time. A nurse who is dedicated to patient care is an angel on earth. I will be eternally grateful. 

For you and Lee to have received the gift of life, which resulted in 13 additional years together, thanks to Dr. King's "dedication, brilliance, caring, kindness and treatment," was truly something above and beyond. I can understand how important "The Lee Rome Memorial Award," is to you. Lee would approve. The presentation "to the resident who exemplifies humanism in Medicine," is a beautiful way to give back to the "Medstar Franklin Square Family Medicine." Dr. King is proof positive, that with dedication and a servant heart, all best things are possible. She truly is a star!

Congratulations to Dr. Jordon Gottchalk, recipient of the Lee Rome Award and to the Family Medicine graduating class of 2018. 

Margaret, as a former nurse, active Real Estate Broker, Radio Talk Show host, and leader on ActiveRain, I would like to say thank you for your compassionate heart. Over the years, you have reached out to me and many others here on ActiveRain. Reaching out to give from your heart is a precious gift, an expression of deepest humanity and kindness. Not only are you nurturing, you're authentic - an honorable woman. It is because of people like you, that I remain an avid reader and follower to you and others here on ActiveRain. 



Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 21 days ago


Touched beyond words Patricia Feager  I thank you for sharing your story  and for your beautiful words. Love how you still celebrate the important date. 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 21 days ago

Margaret you guys are what makes humanity proud!!! True givers in every sense of the word. God Bless.  I feel honored to have met you couple of times in my life!!!

Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) 21 days ago

You shared your life with Lee. You supported him, with the help of others, for much longer than expected. Now, you continue to provide support through The Lee Rome Memorial Award. What a wonderful legacy, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland !

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) 20 days ago

John Juarez I am honored to have Lee remembered through this reward.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 20 days ago

You were Lee's warrior. You gave him all your love and strength and hid your tears while smiling to his face. The love you showed him is extraordinary. Caretakers have a very hard job and it is something you will never forget and can always be proud of yourself. No regrets... you gave him the amazing gift of your very being.  I think you deserve the award

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) 19 days ago

This post is about when two extremely wonderful women met.

Dr. King, was most unusual, in that she was interested in more than a patient, but cared about a person.

Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland showed extreme care for the man of her life and saw to it that he got the best care that extended his life.

Thanks Margaret for honoring those who stand out in the medical world.

Thanks for sharing your journey and inspiring us.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA (Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty) 19 days ago

What can I say? A special post from a special lady. Thank you for sharing. I read it twice and passed it along to select others I am sure will find it inspirational.

Posted by Ronald Gombach (The Gombach Group) 19 days ago

What a beautiful tribute to your husband - as well as to some special doctors. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) 19 days ago

Marte Cliff Always good to see you and appreciate your comment. 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 19 days ago

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary!
What a beautiful brave journey you shared with us on Lee's heath challenges. Sharing your honeymoon photos was brilliant. We live in a culture/country where age is not revered. This is such a pity. Seniors are amazing untapped resources. This award of Humanism in Medicine brings it to the forefront. Hugs, Margie

Posted by Margie Pacheco 16 days ago


Hi Margie, So good to hear from you. I just left you a message.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 16 days ago

What a wonderful tribute to a rare doctor.  Sometimes in life we cross paths with amazing human beings.  It's wonderful to celebrate that.  Happy Anniversary.  Going to read your other post now.  Hugs girl!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 14 days ago