Friday, February 16, 2024

Collaborating for a Cause

In 1992, when UF journalism student Heather Collins contacted Boca magazine’s John Shuff for a school paper about the history of a Florida publication, she did not know that eight years later, she’d be calling again—for something much more personal.

Heather Collins-Grattan Floyd

In 2000, Heather (now Collins-Grattan Floyd) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that Shuff has had for more than 40 years. Collins-Grattan Floyd asked Shuff to write a forward to her self-published book on MS entitled “Game Over, MS” in which she explores her journey with the disease—and her helpful advice for coping with it.

Collins-Grattan Floyd says that “during those first few years after diagnosis, [I] developed an all-encompassing solution” which involved following the Blood Type Diet (in addition to whatever medication MS patients are taking), which she narrows it down to just two or three foods to avoid for whatever blood type the person with MS has.

She devised the acronym SYSTEMS “to help the reader remember the seven important (but simple) things to follow in keeping MS at bay.”

But she returns again and again to what she calls “Mr. Shuff’s foreword” which she calls “characteristically intriguing, and you can hear his voice like you do in his ‘My Turn’ articles.” As Collins-Grattan Floyd says, she and Shuff  “hope to foster just that, hope—replacing tears with smiles—alongside the knowledge that God has a purpose to absolutely everything. Some lessons in life are just a lot more humbling than others, and MS delivers a constant lesson in humbleness.”

To get a copy of Collins-Grattan Floyd’s book, please visit

Marie Speed
Marie Speed
Marie Speed is group editor of all JES publications, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Worth Avenue, Mizner’s Dream and the annual publication for the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. She also oversees editorial operations of the company’s Salt Lake City magazines. Her community involvement has ranged from work with the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce to a longtime board member position at Caridad Center. She is also on the George Snow Scholarship Fund review committee. She is a past officer of the Florida Magazine Association and a member of Class XVII of Leadership Florida. In her spare time, Marie enjoys South Florida’s natural world through hiking and kayaking, and she is an avid reader and an enthusiastic cook.

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