By Wayne Connell, Founder & President, Invisible Disabilities Association.
Article Excerpt: See what an amazing difference IDA is making with our Annual Honor Awards Banquets. Not only is this an amazing night for attendees, but we share our videos from the evening and article about the Award Recipients to increase awareness, education and support around the world!
In recognition of National Disabilities Month, every October for the past five years, the Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA) has hosted an awards banquet in Lone Tree, Colorado. This year’s banquet will take place on October 14th. This event allows IDA to honor amazing individuals and organizations from around the nation who are making a difference in the lives of people touched by illness, pain and disability. We also feature incredible keynote speakers such as National Speaker Hall of Fame Inductee Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, CSP, CPAE; New York Times bestselling author Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván and New York Met’s World Series Champion Ed Hearn. This year we invite you to “Join the Expedition.”
Dictionary.com defines an expedition as, “an organized journey or voyage for a specific purpose.” Much time and planning goes into preparing for an expedition. Sometimes it requires learning a new language; sometimes it forges ahead into difficult places. An expedition often requires a map, unless the territory is unknown and uncharted. And of course lots and lots of cool equipment and tools are needed. Finally, an expedition usually requires a partner or a team to go with you, and a group back home cheering you on.
The problem with the expedition of caregiving or living daily with illness and pain is that you rarely have the opportunity to prepare or pre-plan. It just happens! IDA wants to help people to become “expedition ready” even in the midst of the journey.
IDA’s 5th annual banquet will feature Antarctic Mike (Pierce) and his wife, Angela, as keynote speakers. Mike and Angela have been on a very long expedition. Mike is a professional speaker, executive recruiter, avid adventure athlete, world record holder and a husband. Angela Pierce is a wife, a blogger and someone who lives daily with disability and has done so most of her life. Together, they are an amazing team!
Mike has completed marathons in some of the world’s coldest climates including the Canadian Arctic, Siberia and twice in the Antarctic. He has set world records in endurance swimming and cycling as well. Adventure sports have changed Mike’s life in many ways, including teaching him the importance of being mentally focused and conditioned to run the most challenging, important and worthwhile expedition, that of helping Angela manage her lifetime disability. Read more of their story on Disability.Blog.
The good news is there are a group of people and organizations from around the nation who are journeying alongside people touched by illness, pain and disability. IDA will be honoring them on this great evening. IDA honorees include:
- 2012 Advocacy Award Honoree: Suzanne Mintz has been chosen based on her passion and advocacy as the founder of the National Family Caregivers Association. She has set the example for others by caregiving for her husband, Steven, who is living with Multiple Sclerosis. She has used her experience to inspire and advocate for other caregivers.
- 2012 Caregiver Award Honoree: John O’Brien has been chosen based on his passion and commitment to personally care for his wife and her journey with illness. This passion for people living with illness and pain also moved John to co-found Central Coast Senior Services, a home care agency which provides professional and compassionate caregiving.
- 2012 Corporate Award Honoree: Debbie Marriott Harrison has been chosen for her personal journey as a caregiver and champion of those living with invisible disabilities, including her own children. In addition, Debbie is an example for others in her role as Senior Vice President of the Marriott Corporation, a company that is leading the way with a disability-friendly atmosphere for both their guests and employees.
- 2012 Founders Award Honoree: Dick Layton has been chosen based on his personal involvement with IDA’s founder Wayne Connell as a mentor and as a strategic advisor to the entire IDA organization. Dick uses his passion to help others by making a difference in their lives and their organizations and therefore multiplying his impact and reach. Dick Layton is a currently a Managing Partner at Kenton Talent Management.
- 2012 Healthcare Award Honoree: Kermit Crawford has been chosen based on his leadership role at Walgreen’s as the President of the Pharmacy, Health and Wellness Services and Solutions and his focus on the wellbeing and health of all Americans. Kermit has led Walgreens in the development of programs and services such as the Take Care Clinics, Health Corner TV, Health Screening Tours and the Walk with Walgreens initiative.
- 2012 Impact Award Honoree: Jan Chambers has been chosen based on her desire and passion to positively impact people living with fibromyalgia and pain through her work as the President of the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association.
- 2012 Inspiration Award Honoree: Bob Woodruff has been chosen because as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor he inspires others with TBI to keep fighting and to use their challenges and triumphs to help encourage others. Bob founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to honor and encourage veterans, as well as service men and women living with invisible disabilities. Bob is an amazing inspiration and is making a difference in the lives of others.
- 2012 Invisible Hero Award Honoree: Anna Bigham has been chosen based on her work as the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization Hidden Wounds. After enduring the tragic loss of her brother, Anna has dedicated her life to serving military personnel living with invisible disabilities by bringing them hope and inspiration.
- 2012 Medical Award Honoree: Dr. Marshall Thomas has been chosen based on his passion to provide exceptional clinical care and research for patients living with mental health disorders through his leadership as the Executive Director of the University of Colorado’s Depression Center. Under his guidance, the Depression Center has become a recognized leader in research and treatment of depression, as well as a much needed community resource for health professionals and the public about mood disorders.
- 2012 Perseverance Award Honoree: Angela Pierce has been chosen based on her amazing perseverance as she lives each day with illness from childhood, ongoing long term pain and life threatening injuries caused by a major climbing accident 27 years ago. In addition, despite her circumstances, Angela shares her story, as well as her struggles and triumphs, in order to encourage others in person and through the internet.
- 2012 Research Award Honoree: Envoy Medical Corporation has been chosen based on its cutting edge research, and the creation of the Esteem®, an implantable, invisible, prosthetic hearing restoration device.
- 2012 Volunteer Award Honoree: Frances Owens has been chosen based on her lifelong, passionate volunteerism with multiple charities serving people living daily with illness and disability, as well as for those recovering from tragedy. Frances’ current work with Developmental Pathways and the HeartLight Center is inspiring. Her volunteerism with Anchor Center for the Blind, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, The Children’s Hospital, The Colorado Autism Society, women’s heart health and Denver Health’s Newborns in Need is an example to be followed.
In addition, check out our great expert chats on the first ever Online True Help® Disability Web Expo sponsored by Allsup, which will be held on September 27th. Register today for this free event. Topics include:
- “Be Expedition Ready – Learn about preparing for the journey of care giving” by Antarctic Mike
- “Ready, Set, Thrive – Nine new rules for engaging change and managing stress” by Jeff Vankooten
- “7 Realities of the Invisible Becoming Visible” by Wayne Connell, IDA Founder and President
- “Communication Do’s and Don’ts for People with Disabilities” by Kathe Skinner, MA, LMFT
- “Humor for Health & Well-Being” by Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN, CSP, CPAE
- “Your Changing Brain – The owner’s manual to your mind” by Rick Watson
We hope you “Join the Expedition” with us this year in Denver. We believe we all need each other, and even though the journey can be difficult and lengthy, it can be endured with the help of others. IDA will continue to take the lead and provide support and guidance along the way. To register or learn more about the banquet, please go to www.JoinTheExpedition.org.
This article was first published on Disability.Blog by Disability.gov. September 19, 2012.
Join us for Invisible Disabilities Week every October! Don’t miss the Annual IDA Awards Gala and the Brain IDEAS Symposium.
Learning the Language of Invisible Disabilities
Looks Can Be Deceiving on Disability.gov
What’s So Funny About on Disability.gov