Grove City resident Elizabeth "Liz" Thompson is among this year's nominees for the Jefferson Awards, which provide some well-deserved recognition for volunteerism in central Ohio.

Grove City resident Elizabeth "Liz" Thompson is among this year's nominees for the Jefferson Awards, which provide some well-deserved recognition for volunteerism in central Ohio.

ThisWeek Community Newspapers is partnering with WBNS-10TV and the Nationwide On Your Side Volunteer Network to present this year's Jefferson Awards at a ceremony set for April 1.

Thompson has multiple sclerosis, which was diagnosed in 1987 when she was living in the Seattle area, and a hearing impairment, but she does not let her misfortunes hold her back, according to the nomination.

Thompson was born and grew up in Westerville. She attended Bowling Green State University to study music for two years, but then married and eventually moved to California. There she gave birth to a daughter in 1974. Divorce followed two years later.

Thompson and her second husband, Robert Thompson, have been married since 1984. They've lived in California, Arizona and Washington state, but are probably ready to settle down for good in Grove City, she said during an interview for a feature story last year.

Liz Thompson, who has had a cochlear implant to help overcome the hearing loss that dated to her elementary school days, said last year that she realizes she probably had symptoms of MS as far back as 1970, but the definitive diagnosis didn't come until after she abruptly lost vision in one eye more than two decades ago.

"As an ambassador and advocate for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, she has dedicated herself to helping others with this disease," the nomination states. "Thompson is the Web master of MS World, an online resource for those with MS.

In 2008, Thompson published her first book 'Day by Day: The Chronicles of a Hard of Hearing Reporter.' She is now working on her second book which focuses on the relationship between patients and their doctors.

She reaches out to the community to help improve the quality of life for others with MS.

"While overcoming her challenges, she has kept a positive attitude and an upbeat and enthusiastic outlook."

Five volunteers will each receive $500 as top winners of the 2009 Jefferson Awards.