Defying the Odds: Rev. Beverly Boyarsky

By OBOS — April 15, 2009

From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011

Entrant: Anonymous

Nominee: Rev. Beverly Boyarsky

Beverly Boyarsky’s life as she knew it came to a screeching halt in 2004. A true activist of animal rights, LGBT rights and woman’s issues, she was a strong force on Long Island for many years. A public relations exec and spokesperson, she received a lifetime achievement award, among other honors.

But in 2004 she was diagnosed with a rare, incurable muscle disease and became bedridden and totally dependent on others. Despite the odds, Beverly started keeping a blog and has touched thousands of lives. Additionally, she is now an ordained minister and is pursuing her doctoral degree with hopes to work with chronically/terminally ill patients and their families.

She raises money each year for The Myositis Association and is trying to have a large music fest to raise tons of cash to find a cure. As a musician and writer, Beverly continues to reach out despite her current health status. Her blog has saved many lives and her strength remains an inspiration to all those that she has touched.


Contest Administrator Note: In addition to the vote total shown, we’re including 32 votes that could not be tallied within the system. See comment below for more information.

10 responses to “Defying the Odds: Rev. Beverly Boyarsky”

  1. Beverly has and always will be an inspiration to anyone who has had the privilege to come into contact with her.

  2. i have not known Beverly very long but it is quickly effident that she is a deeply compassionate, giving and spiritual person. In her struggle and pain from her affliction she reaches out, creating and maintaining an incredible blog where she chronicles her daily struggles. Others can learn about the illness and its impact on one’s life. Others can in turn respond and be lifted out of their isolation and communicate with her. I know from my own battle with Cancer that communication with others who went through and are going through the same experience, sharing all the trials and tribulations of such illnesses are incredible tools for healing both physical, emotional and spiritual. Strength and courage sister.

  3. It has been my joy and pleasure to call Bev my friend for the past 33 years. We met as seniors in high school auditioning to get into the P.E. department at Montclair State College and have been friends ever since. She is strong both mentally and physically and will fight this with every ounce of her being.

    It is my pleasure to support this nomination for Rev. Beverly Boyarsky for this prestigious award.

  4. I had the privilege of meeting Rev. Beverly Boyarsky one year ago and throughout the past year I have read her blog and am in awe of her strength and determination to not allow her disease to hinder her passion to help others. It is my sincere belief that she is truly worthy of your award.

  5. Rev. Bev is a strong woman who is more than deserving of this award. Congrats to you for educating many people on the disease and being the brave example that you are.


  6. Beverly has been an inspiration to me. She faces adversary with a stiff upper lip and the determination not to let her affliction get her down. Whenever I’m feeling down or defeated I think of Beverly and what she is going through and how she is handling it and it reminds me that there is hope.

  7. Beverly’s compassion, determination and perserverance has led her through this difficult time. Her passionate connection to the community, despite her illness, demonstrates incredible perserverance.

  8. Besides being a great friend, Bev is an all around fantastic person. She is kind, caring, strong and determined!! If anyone can win this fight, its Beverly!! I consider myself truly priviledged to call her my friend!!

  9. Contest Administrator Note:

    There were voting issues with Beverly’s post, and we received many emails indicating that people were not able to vote. Via the emails received, we have counted 32 votes that were not tallied within the system. Those votes will be included in the final count even though they are not reflected in the stars ratings system.

    Thank you,

    Wendy Brovold

    OBOS Communications & Marketing Manager

  10. Several of us have tried voting over the last several weeks, but the votes unfortunately would not go through.

    Beverly has been a true fighter for the underdog for as long as I can remember. Whether it be for the disabled, dogs and cats, or womens rights, she has made her voice count and has made enormous positive changes.

    However, she has been in the fight of her life for almost five years. And despite that, has documented every up and down so that others will benefit from her experiences.

    A true humanitarian in every sense of the word, Beverly is currently starting a Myositis support group on Long Island so that people with her disease will never be alone. She is doing this at the same time she is receiving chemotherapy treatments! One would think that her health should be number one priority. But once again, she is thinking of others.

    There is no doubt that she deserves this award.

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