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Charlotte A. Wilson and Margaret K. Whitener Professorship

After a successful procedure performed at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, MARGARET K. WHITENER was able to spend the last few years of her life in a brighter world. Her experience inspired her to leave a bequest to Wilmer.

One woman knows about this experience firsthand: Leberta Brandimarte, her nurse and caretaker. When Ms. Brandimarte first started caring for Mrs. Whitener, she noticed right away that Mrs. Whitener had trouble with her mobility. When she asked her what was wrong, Mrs. Whitener said that she couldn’t see.

“To make a long story short, I told the person that was in charge of her finances, I want to take her to Johns Hopkins. It’s very important that I do. She has a lot of life left in her,” says Ms. Brandimarte.

When Mrs. Whitener came to Wilmer for treatment by Dr. Maumenee, Ms. Brandimarte spent the night at the hospital with her. “She loved this hospital,” says Ms. Brandimarte. “Yes, she did. It was something she talked about. And she’d be honored by this professorship.”

According to Ms. Brandimarte, “Kay” was a gorgeous woman with bright red hair who married the love of her life, Mr. Dewey Whitener. Though she moved to Virginia to be with him, she was a West Virginia girl at heart. Mrs. Whitener was close to both the late West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd and his late wife Erma. “They loved her like you never saw,” says Ms. Brandimarte.

When making the bequest, Mrs. Whitener wrote, “Medical research is my favorite way of helping mankind.”

The Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute is honored to create an endowed professorship in memory of Margaret K. Whitener and her mother Charlotte A. Wilson.