Karen (Orsini) Toner

Karen (Orsini) Toner Passed Away on Sunday, January 22, 2012

We at American RSDHope, the Orsini Family, are saddened to report that my sister and American RSDHope Board member, Karen Orsini Toner, passed away Sunday January 22nd.; due to complications related to a long history of MS. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the MS Society of Maine. 

So many in the CRPS Community knew Karen, had talked with, emailed, and even visited Karen at one time or another. She was instrumental in many of our conferences, was our secretary, and so much more than that. She was an amazing woman who worked tirelessly, despite her own pain and disability, for our cause, for MY cause. My sister loved me dearly I know and we often prayed and talked together of trying to help each other out of the pain and distress the other was in. It bonded us together in a special way. Anyone who suffers from chronic illness and has a sibling who does also understands.

When we lost my father seven years ago (2004) she stepped into his shoes at American RSDHope and helped us carry on. She is whole in body, mind, and spirit now and we are thankful for that. Every day I walk, I walk remembering her.

Our family, especially her husband James Toner, wants to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers.

Her obituary can be accessed here.

Thank you to our entire American RSDHope family for their love and concern and prayers.

Peace, Keith and Lynne and Jim

(what Karen had written about her work with American RSDHope) 

Dear Friends,

I am the sister of an RSDer – Keith. It is very hard to watch this once very athletic man turn into a spectator instead of a participant. I am so very proud of the man he has become despite these limitations, both physical and mental. He is making his life meaningful and is a heaven sent angel to many, many people.

I do not have CRPS although people at our last conference assumed I did. I have MS and had to leave my job and my profession. I was a Senior Paralegal at a Law Firm in Texas and I enjoyed my vocation very much. I have a wonderful and supportive husband who some of you have met. Jim was the cameraman at the last conference and does a lot of the grunt work involved in the operation of the organization. Even more of you know most of my family who are very supportive, especially Mom.

It’s up to all of us, RSDers, friends, family, care givers, to take up the torch for Dad O. and continue what was his most important life’s work other than his family. Dad looked at each of you as an extended family and in so, strived to attain as much information as possible to educate each of us on this dreadful disease. He always felt knowledge was power and in fighting this disease we all need as much power as we can obtain.

Remember you are all important, you are all special and you are all part of a very important family – American RSDHope.

Gentle Hugs,
Karen (Orsini) Toner

Here is a picture of Karen hard at work in the RSDHope offices!



Note from Keith

Karen had the toughest job of all. Stepping into Dad’s shoes, and his chair. She had to take his place in the office handling the other half of the office and helping Mom run the organization’s multitude of paperwork. A larger task than you could imagine, not just physically but emotionally.

If it weren’t for Karen’s ability to do so I am not sure if RSDHope would have been able to continue as an Organization. she brought much needed expertise at a time when we needed it as well as a steadying hand and a calming influence to Mom as she has traveled a very difficult road without Dad. She has been there every morning despite suffering from a severe case of Multiple Sclerosis and dealing with her own pain.

I feel so blessed to have her as a sister. I have been blessed in this life witha wonderful and supportive family, they have always been there for me and that isn’t easy to do with an RSD patient as all of you know.

Peace, Keith