Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin passed away on March 7, 2013 at age 94
*Her name, information, and pictures are used with her son’s permission.
I’d like to tell you about a very special person: Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin. She was one of my professors, a mentor, role model, and dear friend. We knew each other about 30 years. And it’s quite interesting, that, although I do not remember too many birthdays, I never forgot hers. And I must have really admired her, because I’ve adopted her distinctive laugh!
It was in Nursing School, in our Community Health class, that I first met her. She was the professor and a very striking personality. First of all, she was a senior citizen. Then, she was happy and full of life; had beautiful, silky, white hair, twinkles in her eyes, and her posture was straight and strong; she was quick and light in her movements; and she filled the classroom with her enthusiasm for the subject we were all there to learn.
She was about 67 years old at that time. And her words and actions were not what I was used to in older folks. Some of my classmates even felt that she was a bit nutty. Because as she shared about her life, we learned that she ran and won medals in Senior Olympics, rode a bike, and swam in the lake in front of her house [the one with the snakes]. Back in 1980 I don’t think any of us students knew seniors who did things like that. Today many seniors are quite health-minded and active.
Mrs. Hamlin described herself like this:
“I have been a vegetarian for 50 years, take no supplements or medicine, have high bone density [and no osteoporosis], and have never had any major surgery.” From her book, Ride With the Wind, P. 29
She was definitely different, but no nutty professor. As I observed and listened to her, I concluded that she was ‘sharp as a tack’ [very intelligent], had more energy than most of us students, and was onto something that I’d better pay attention to!
Why was this lady like this when so many of her age group [and even younger] were full of aches, pains, and medications? Here is how: she not only taught us students about the laws of health, but she lived them every day! She was a walking advertisement that using these simple principles really worked.
And she didn’t keep this ‘good news’ to herself. Three ways she shared it were:
1. Her “Prevent the 3 Cs” Classes – which were a continuing education series teaching folks how to help avoid Coronary [heart attacks], Cancer, and CVA [strokes]. Community members, and university faculty, staff, and students were all invited to attend. To start, everyone got blood tests to see what their risks were. Then there were classes to learn about each of the 3Cs, and how to put into practice the laws of health. At the program’s end, blood was tested to check improvements. Many were helped. I was also helped.
It was in her 3Cs class that I first learned that women who eat the most animal fats are inclined to have the highest risks for breast cancer. Before then I’d never heard of any connection between diet and cancer. Today we are hearing much more about this relationship. **[Eating much animal protein and sugar also increases risks for breast and other cancers as well].