It’s a publisher’s job to make sure the magazine gets out on time, that there is revenue flowing in so the staff can be paid and that the magazine is heading in the right direction.
What you might not know is that our publisher, Cullen Murray-Kemp, does all those things and more. Sure, he is dedicated to health care because he is the publisher of Charleston’s leading medical magazine – HealthLinks – but he has a personal feeling toward “helping people” that goes beyond his job title.
Take what happened on March 29, for example. Mandy Willis, a sales rep for HealthLinks, has a 20-year-old son with autism, Nate Willis. For Mandy, explaining to her son, who is developmentally delayed at the second grade level, that he was going to have to get the COVID vaccine proved to be challenging.
“I told Nate the week before that we were going to get the COVID vaccination and he said, ‘Mom, I not go!’ I said, ‘Yes, Nate Willis, we are going.’ He kept giving me and Jeremy – my husband and Nate’s Dad – a fit about going, so I said, ‘You know what? Cullen got the shot’ and he said, ‘Mom I go with Cullen, please.’”
As they waited to check in, Nate wore his noise-cancelling headphones. Mandy had to sign him in for the appointment, and, as she did, Cullen was there along with Nate’s younger brother, 15-year-old Conner.
Cullen took Nate’s mind off of the vaccine by talking to him about his favorite actor, Will Ferrell. When it came time to get the shot, Cullen was right there by Nate’s side, holding his hand and even dancing and singing to distract him. Jeremy was also there, holding Nate’s hand.
“It worked,” Mandy said. “From the bottom of our hearts, my husband, Conner and I are so grateful to Cullen.”
She concluded, “Nate always says, ‘Mom, Cullen is my friend.’ And I say, ‘Yes, you are right, Nate Willis, Cullen is your friend.’ But right after that he always says, ‘No Mom. Cullen is my best friend.’”
By Theresa Stratford