Congratulations to my wife, Diane, for winning the Angela’s Angel Award for 2020! This award goes to someone who has “advocated for the EB community as a whole, handled the challenges EB presents in their everyday life, provided comfort, care, encouragement, and grace, adapted their life to the role of caretaker and, and exemplified the virtue of selflessness” and is sponsored by the organization, miathrives.org.
Pictures don’t tell the whole story but Diane stopped her full time ministry to care for our daughter Angel, who was born with epidermolysis bullosa. Diane became Angel’s advocate as well as her teacher, wound care specialist, costume designer, cheerleader, encourager, minister and even her life coach.
Yet Diane continued to be an advocate and spokesperson for other families whose children were suffering with eb. Diane served as co-chair and chairperson for “Have A Heart for EB” providing families three days at Walt Disney World and a day at Sea World for over 250 family members.
All during this time, she still continued her church ministry, began her doctor of ministry degree, studied first person narrative preaching in California, served as Chaplain for Orlando Regional’s Visiting nurse, helped serve as Chaplain and Volunteer Coordinator for “Parents Night Out” at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital and still managed to study chaplaincy at a local hospital.
Diane provided medical care for her mother who suffered a stroke and imminent death, provided medical care for our son, James, when he faced his own medical care, and allowed me the opportunity to travel as a well digger to Ethiopia. Then in 2008, Diane eventually moved to Tennessee to assist Angel as she began her college and graduate studies at Vanderbilt University. Then finally, just a month prior to finishing her doctorate thesis, Diane had to stop her studies and began working.
She continued to provide for us even when Angel got the opportunity to work for NASA in Maryland at Goddard Space Center. Diane provided excellent medical care until Angel got her angel wings in August, 2018. There is more to this story and I am just so proud of her. Congratulations Diane!