Margie Murphy has long enjoyed a successful career as a master glass artist.  Her creations can be found throughout the United States in churches, corporate offices and private homes. One of her most notable commissions was for 14 custom windows – one for each Olympic event – at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, NY.

A Stuart resident since 2000, Margie did very well as a prominent local artist. Then the recession hit and commissions began to dry up.  After 40 years, Margie was struggling to make ends meet. She started having severe panic attacks.

“I was fearful that I was going to have a stroke or heart attack,” she says, citing a family history of early death with her mother and grandmother. Margie was afraid she was headed for the same fate.

But with no health insurance and no money, she couldn’t find help. Then a friend told her to try the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic.  She applied, qualified and became a VIM patient.

“If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would have needed this help, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Margie says.  “I had health care, I was married, I was in a secure situation. But things changed for me. I never dreamed I would have to go to a place like VIM for help. “

She’s enormously grateful for the care and compassion she gets at VIM Clinic. “They opened their arms to me,” she says. “Without them, I don’t know where I’d be right now.”

She thinks about that for a minute.  “I’d probably be dead,” she adds.

Margie’s economic struggle continues. She’s found part-time work and art sales remain slow. She doesn’t qualify for Medicaid and still can’t afford to buy insurance.  In the meantime, she gives back the only way she can right now – she donates her art to help with fundraising.

In fact, she’s creating a special window for the Jan. 24, 2014, “Paradise” Gala, which will be offered at a silent auction item.

“VIM is a worthy organization because of the health care crisis we’re in right now,” she says. “I’m just so grateful to have all these magnificent people working for those of us who are indigent or hurting right now. VIM is a Godsend, and I’m very thankful to all of them.”