September 24, 2018

                         Advocating for the just and humane treatment of those who are incarcerated.


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Plea For Compassionate Release

Dear Honorable Members: Grant compassionate release for Katherine TelemachosGrant compassionate release for Katherine Telemachos

I am writing this letter to support a conditional medical release for Katherine Telemachos #710098. She is currently incarcerated and is dying. She has been incarcerated since 1991 at the age of 19 and has been in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections for approximately 20 years. She is now 40 years old. In 2003, Katherine noticed a pea sized lump in her left breast. Despite relentless attempts in seeking treatment, it was not until October 29, 2007 that she received a bilateral radical mastectomy. Unfortunately, due to the delay in treatment, the cancer had metastasized to her lymph nodes, lung, bone and chest wall. She is dying.

Due to Katherine’s transplant history, traditional cancer treatments are not viable options for her. Despite recommendations by doctors, the Florida Department of Corrections has continuously refused to send her to a transplant specialist where alternate treatments could be explored. Just over a year ago, due to medication she was given for high blood pressure, Katherine’s transplanted kidney failed. She is now a dialysis patient. During a catheter removal and replacement operation, she was administered an antibiotic she was allergic to, causing her to develop a severe skin disease. Katherine is not receiving adequate medical care. She does not receive proper nutrition, pain management, cancer treatment and daily medications are often unavailable.

In 2006 Katherine filed for clemency under the Battered Women’s Law. This is when she first began to relate to others the details of her horrific abuse. Her case was presented before Governor Jeb Bush and the Clemency Board and was denied due to the failure of the Florida Domestic Review Board to submit their report in a timely fashion. I believe Gov. Bush would have granted her clemency at that time, and if so, she would be living a healthy productive life in our community today. Instead she may die in prison.
Katherine is one of the most amazing women I have even known. She is kind and empathetic to others, highly educated, and always willing to help another.  She is a devout Christian. Katherine has educated herself while in prison and has earned a two year degree in accounting/bookkeeping, and an associates degree from Blackstone School of Law in paralegal studies. She has worked in the Law Library at several institutions assisting staff and other women with their legal needs. Moreover, she has dedicated herself to helping others overcome their shame of abuse. She broke her silence and shares her pain, her journey of healing and how she became a survivor of abuse rather than a victim.

Katherine and her mother are very close. Her mom wants her daughter returned to her, and brought home before she dies. Katherine wants to die at home and hopes to have the chance to see the ocean before she passes. Since 2010, several doctors working for the Department of Corrections have diagnosed Katherine with a terminal illness.  Without your intervention and mercy Katherine will die in prison where she has spent the majority of her life. She is not a threat to society and is welcomed back by the community. We are asking that you please grant Katherine a Conditional Medical Release from prison Her time is running out and her terminal illness is a major financial burden on the State and its taxpayers.

Sincerely,
Mary Ellen DiGiacomo

The petition for a compassionate medical release for Katherine can be signed at https://www.change.org/petitions/let-katherine-see-the-ocean-before-she-dies   We encourage everyone to sign this petition so that Katherine will be able to spend her last days with her mom whose love has never failed and whose only desire is to spend each precious, fleeting moment by her daughter’s side.

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