The Tennessee Justice Center is excited to celebrate Daphne Elmore as a 2022 Mother of the Year for her dedication to healthcare advocacy.
Daphne Elmore is a resident of Murfreesboro. She raised her three children, Elizabeth, Lindsey, and Andrew in Nashville until moving to her current residence in 2019. When asked what it meant to raise her three children, Ms. Elmore simply replied, “the world.”
Ms. Elmore’s oldest son is named Andrew. He is now 29 years old and has graduated from MTSU with a degree in exercise science. Lindsey is in the middle. She graduated from MTSU with a degree in social work. She intends to go back to school to get her masters studying mental health for adolescents and young adults. Ms. Elmore’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth, is 19 years old. Ms. Elmore reflects on Elizabeth’s intelligence and her will to “never give up.”
Ms. Elmore continuously advocated for her youngest daughter’s mental health. They struggle to find support that takes Elizabeth’s needs seriously and works to address the root of her struggles. This, however, is not the first time Ms. Elmore has had to advocate for proper care.
She has been battling breast cancer for years. When she first started to feel ill, she recalls that doctors dismissed her concerns and missed her diagnosis. Some even disregarded numerous symptoms including chest pains and breathing issues as simple anxiety symptoms. They told her to go to a therapist. Ms. Elmore stayed strong. She knew something was not right and she stood up for herself to get treatment. Finally, after a long period of suffering the unknown, Ms. Elmore found out she had cancer and lung disease.
These skills have proved helpful in advocating for her daughter. She notes that at times it can be frustrating as a woman to try and be taken seriously by medical professionals. She wants people to have a chance at equal treatment opportunities.
The TJC had the opportunity to work with Ms. Elmore to ensure that she was getting her cancer treatment in a timely manner. Ms. Elmore reports that the experience was validating, and she felt that it affirmed her human dignity.
Ms. Elmore recalls, “I wasn’t taken seriously for a long time. I’m still fighting to get timely appropriate treatments.” Her goal is to help others be heard. She wants people to count on being taken seriously when they are ill instead of having to fear misdiagnosis and being pushed aside. She adamantly affirms the dignity of every person.
She remarks that following these experiences and struggles for healthcare, her “heart has opened up.” She is willing to share her story and fight to help anyone get the care they need. She hopes she will be able to open representatives’ eyes by raising the question of why they would leave people to suffer. She gained a lot of clarity and learned a lot through her healthcare journey.
Ms. Elmore envisions a world in which people can pursue their dreams in good health. She states, “I’m fighting until my last breath just to make someone’s life easier”
Photographs by Lil Welch