As you know, I generally try to keep my personal life separated from this sharepost, but every so often the two worlds must intersect. This is just such an occasion. In just a few short months my husband I will be welcoming our first child into this world. Along with the many changes that motherhood will inevitably bring, a shift in career and priorities is one of them. So that I can truly focus on this new phase of my life, I have decided to resign from my position as director of education at the Simon Foundation for Continence.
I have worked for the Simon Foundation for nearly five years now, and would like to make this post something of a tribute to the history of the foundation, the work they've done over the past 25 years, and the countless individuals who've helped spread their message of educating the public about incontinence and removing the stigma surrounding the topic.
The Simon Foundation, as I mentioned, began 25 years ago when its founder (and still the President to this day), Cheryle Gartley, wrote Managing Incontinence, the first book ever written for the lay person on the topic of incontinence. As Ms. Gartley traveled the country promoting the book she had to face, head-on, the stigma that followed incontinence by addressing nosey and inappropriate questions from reporters, and enduring threats on her life. But truth prevailed and word got out.
Over the next quarter century the Simon Foundation was at the forefront of such ground-breaking endeavors as starting educational/support groups for individuals with incontinence, and running conferences on the previously little-explored topics of the prevention of incontinence, and stigma as it relates to incontinence. In its most recent years, the Foundation has launched its biennial conference Innovating for Continence: The Engineering Challenge, aimed at stimulating fresh thinking amongst the engineers who develop the products used every day by individuals with incontinence.
Of course, none of these initiatives would have been possible without the people who've lent a helping hand along the way. Truly dedicated individuals have led the Foundation on the governing board. Highly acclaimed medical professionals across the globe have served, and are serving, on the advisory board. Countless lay people have volunteered their time to make the numerous conferences and educational initiatives a reality. And supporters like you, who may never have actually come into physical contact with the Simon Foundation (yet), have helped to further the same cause in your own way - by choosing to live your life rather than hiding away in shame, by choosing to expect superb medical care for this condition, just as you would for any other health challenge, and by choosing to fight the stigma by holding your head high.
Simon Foundation - I thank you for the opportunities you have provided me to get started working in this field, learn from some of the foremost leading experts, and get to know, on a very personal level, many of the individuals you serve on a daily basis. My time with you has certainly been eye-opening and life-changing. I look forward to seeing the ways in which you will continue to change history!
As for you (reader) and I, our journey is not yet over. You will continue to see me here each week writing a post, answering your questions, and chiming in on your discussions. And you may find me asking for your advice and tips as well as I work to get my pelvic floor back in shape following my upcoming labor and delivery.
Published On: August 29, 2008