It all began one warm summer day back in 1996…Wow! It’s hard to believe that I met my husband, Chris, over 15 years ago… and that we just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary! We have been through so much together—just regular, everyday life stuff and lots of diabetes stuff too!
Although I have devoted the last four years of my life to addressing the challenges faced by women with diabetes, it was only after the Weekend for Women Conference in May that I began to think more about the emotional impact diabetes has on our spouses. My husband, Chris, who has been “my right hand man” (literally!) at every conference, pointed out how many spouses and significant others were standing around in the hallways during the conference sessions. He also mentioned how they would probably have a lot to talk about if they were all in a room together. Before long, women at the conference were coming up to him and asking him to consider holding some special programs for the spouses/significant others at next year’s conference.
A few weeks after the conference, Chris began talking about holding something for the partner’s at the next conference in Raleigh, NC. He had really given it some thought….he had already come up with a name (The Partner’s Perspective Program) and had all kinds of ideas to involve the partners in the conference. His ideas included adding some special sessions for the partners to meet and talk, a dinner meeting, involvement in the orange:will walk, and he thought it was very important that the partners have the opportunity to see their spouses recognized that the Celebration of Strength Dinner Program. I had no idea how much the Celebration of Strength Dinner Program impacted him until then. He talked about how meaningful it was to see me recognized (along with so many other women who were “thriving” with diabetes) and how he knew the other spouses/significant others had never seen or been a part of something so special for their partners.
Now, four months later, he has led his first conference call planning meeting with two other highly esteemed men in the diabetes community-- David Edelman of Diabetes Daily and Alex, Sysy Morales' husband. Sysy is the brain behind The Girl’s Guide To Diabetes. I am so excited to see this come to fruition at the 2012 Weekend for Women Conference in Raleigh, NC. I love my husband very much, but seeing him take such an active role in a cause that is so important to me, takes my love and admiration for him to another whole level!
If you are married I encourage you to consider attending next year’s conference and bringing your partner/spouse/significant other for The Partner’s Perspective Program. If you would like more information or if your husband would like to help out with the planning, please send an email to Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.