Office on Women's Health Blog
Earnest Evans, Sharon Evans
In July 2013, my wife Sharon was diagnosed with both lung and breast cancer. My immediate thought was that I would need to resign from my job as a vice president for sales of an education company in order to become a full-time caregiver.
It takes courage to share a personal story, but they often are the most powerful. They inspire us, stick with us, and change the way we think about the world. Personal stories also remind us that we are not alone.
Why is it important to discuss your family's health history? Diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease often run in families. Tracing the illnesses of your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives can help your healthcare practitioner predict your risk for specific diseases and make vital screening and treatment decisions before any disease is evident.
Rebecca will be the first to tell you that there's no predicting the way life will turn out, especially when your partner develops a mental illness. But living with someone who has a mental illness doesn't mean life can't be fun and fulfilling — it's just different. This is the case for Rebecca and her husband Craig. Craig is a military veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although it affects their lives every day, they're making it work and want others to know they can, too. Read our interview with Rebecca — a spouse and a caregiver — to learn more about living with someone with PTSD.
One out of every three women in the United States will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. This is unacceptable, and we as a nation must do better. We can start by bringing the conversation out of the shadows. We must erase the stigma associated with domestic violence. That is why national Domestic Violence Awareness Month is so important.
Dr. Sabrina Matoff-Stepp, Sarah Linde
Identifying current or past abusive and traumatic experiences can help prevent further abuse, lessen disability, and lead to improved health status. Because health care providers are often trusted resources in their communities, they are in a unique position to connect individuals who experience IPV with supportive local services — as HRSA's Chief Public Health Officer (and family physician) RADM Sarah Linde knows all too well.
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