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"The Doe Network" : International Center for Unidentified & Missing Persons
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Doe Network Member Profiles : Helene Walstrom



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This weeks featured member is Helene Wahlstrom the Doe Network's Administrator/Webmaster extraordinaire! Helene a resident of Sweden became involved with the Doe Network website after meeting it's creator Jennifer Marra in 1999 in the coldcase yahoo group and soon began helping with the site.

When asked how she became interested in missing and unidentified persons Helene responded "I've always cared for the victims. In the media the perps always gets the attention while the victims seems to slip into oblivion. If you check on the internet and search for a serial killer, his name will pop up a zillion times, whilst the names of his victims are impossible to find. Missing and unidentified persons are victims you still can do something for. You can find them, bring them home, give them back their names. That is what I want to do. The first time I came across the concept of missing persons as in the music video "Runaway train" by Soul Asylum. They featured images of missing children. Even though the video is from the early 90's some of those kids are still missing. How many that were located because of the video I don't know. My gut reaction was I wanted to know where they were. I wanted to tell them to go home. When I started surfing the internet I came across many sites featuring missing persons. I started to realize how many missing persons there are. And I know they have to be somewhere. And as long as they are somewhere, you can help bring them home. I've always wanted to change the world. I pretty soon understood I couldn't, not all by myself. But I can take a part of the world, a specific problem and work with that. "

Helene took over as the webmaster of the Doe Network in 2000 when Jennifer left and in 2001 she came up with the idea of forming a group of volunteers to work solely on trying to solve the cases on the Doe Network site. Helene started with a group of 10 volunteers and that group has now grown to over 300 members that have solved 12 cases and assisted in solving 4 others! None of the groups accomplishments would be possible without all the hard work and dedication that Helene puts into the site. She has given so many families hope just by adding the cold case of their missing loved one to Doe Network site.She truly cares about every single person we have on the Doe Network site.

When asked what she hopes will happen with the Doe Network in the future Helene stated "I hope we will go non-profit. I hope we will grow the size and fame of Amnesty. :) I hope we will solve all the cases. I hope we will be able to pay for DNA tests, excavations etc." I believe that with Helene's determination that all of this will come to happen!

I also asked Helene what she thinks her biggest success was and she replied " I think my biggest successes are personally in a way. I have learned what I can accomplish. I have learned so much about my self. It has given me great confidence and insight. I believe I can do anything I want. I have learned I have leader qualities and that I can be a diplomat. And this work gives me constant hope for the world, meeting all these great, unselfish people who are willing to give so much for people they've never met. And who works so hard with only the work itself as reward :)"

Helene is a wonderful leader, she not only has great ideas but is also a very kind and supportive person that is always happy to offer guidance. I think I speak not only for all the members of the Doe Network but also the families of the loved ones that Doe Network has helped and all the John and Jane Doe's she has given a voice when I say that Helene deserves an award for all the wonderful, unselfish work she does for the Doe Network ever day!

Thank you Helene, none of this would be possible without you!

Author: Angela Ellis

 



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