KJCE 1370AM>Audio on Demand>>Inside Austin, 12.15.13

Inside Austin, 12.15.13

Dec 15, 2013|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

It's Sunday December 15 and you're listening to -- inside Austin my guests today include Trenton Foster and done Kempner from the national MS society -- they're gonna talk about moving towards a world free of multiple sclerosis. I'll also be speaking with Terence Davis is the executive director and founder of the American widow project. An organization that provides your support to a new generation of military widows. That's coming up on inside Austin. Yeah. For America's wounded warriors. Coming home can sometimes in the battle itself. Making the transition back to civilian life for active duty with the traumatic injury. Can be the challenge and liked. The US so provides every American way to support our wounded warriors and their -- Through every phase of their medical treatment. And will be -- good. Tell all of us as a community. Can give something back to our heroes. It's how we can save -- And assured them that their sacrifice and is recognized and appreciated. Visit US -- dot org to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of wounded warriors and. US it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there -- no more than one point one million people living with HIV aids in the US. And nearly 200000. Of them don't know they're infected. This sad fact highlights an awareness gap and the need for education. -- regular testing early detection and increasingly effective treatments people can manage HIV can live long productive lives. In the past year there's been much progress in research. A three year study in France found that one in ten people treated within ten weeks of becoming effective were able to combat the disease. This is not the norm since most are diagnosed long after the are infected. The proper treatment has become much more available and effective only 25% of Americans with -- HIV are receiving treatment. It is so important to ensure that all people especially young people are aware and educated about HIV aids prevention and the availability of effective treatments. Visit act against these dot org to learn where you can get tested today a public service message from United Healthcare. Act against aids dot org and the station. More than 100 million wilder and you'll be illegal. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And I'm there I'm an actor. I grew up in the view rule come out of Ohio and he. Opened. I have a -- to help her. And they lived right. At the habits that -- area. The best way to protect wildlife to protect the land where they live. May I be wowed by land. -- private landowner to protect life. -- natural. And that permanent sanctuary. To learn more or to work with the humane and land. Call 809. 879. Or wild right -- -- Do. Mean. You're listening to inside -- Stan and I am so happy to be here with some folks from the national -- sclerosis society trying to Foster the development manager is here. And also does Kempner. A volunteer and someone who was diagnosed with and that's in 1990 am so glad to have you both here to talk about your experiences. And how folks can get involved and helping the society and more research of course for cure me. Let's get started if we could in Trenton with the mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. But for the short version of that is we're here to help individuals who are living with multiple sclerosis. And moved their lives toward. This disease can stop people NBC. MS stops people in their tracks. And we -- since people can. Keep moving keep moving forward. Her diet programs and services for them to address the -- that they may have. As a -- unmanned important -- research. You better understand this disease and ultimately -- to hear from multiple sclerosis. How many people would -- say in Texas are affected I am -- interesting you should ask and you figure just came out last week Chan and this is an estimated there is no national registry. Plan that reports. The number of cases and people who are diagnosed with MS so. This number is based on our. And surveys and people -- reached out the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. But currently it's -- 3000 people on the state of Texas. That's a significant number yes. Of those people you know it's it's experience I understand that individual kind of disease -- you really don't know how it's gonna progress or. If it's -- aggressor or sort of stave off for a number appears in Bahrain yes absolutely and you know I think and -- Being a mother to small kids and -- I think about being diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And then and not knowing when my day to day it would look like not knowing I can care for him. My children if I can get them off to school if I can go to work a second perfect from -- handling. And I think that's probably -- and commenced. An island elect XP to this it how unpredictable the smooth diseases that you don't know way. Your symptoms are gonna look like today what are some what are some perhaps examples of first symptoms that people my goodness. They. Columnists and that the Canadians. And I'm vision go blind in 100 -- -- there and there is a weapon. So it sort of comes and goes or initially it's got -- noose around because that was for you. Pittman who surrounded and get some news new symptoms go away and then come back at another time. And how will not what might be the time period that they would get they would disappear and then return and mine never shuts but it just moved around -- How could I jump. Suddenly -- make -- a stab in the back minutes ago and how long ago were you diagnosed. 1990. Had a bad diagnosis come about was -- a process of eliminating. Other issues that it could be or was it recognize quite quickly. Well I was hoping -- was that -- has sort of went to a partner cardiologist. Neurologist that with -- And I was hoping it's a pinched nerve. I think I was afraid it's an. And so when you -- and we even refer directly to general and it is and at the time what was treatment. Back in there's no there were no MS drugs at times and they treated the symptoms. I didn't have enough energies have been and they give me something to give me energy. Course that kept me awake at nights of them have been committed in another. -- so there are always treating the symptoms range. That and work with students. And are there different types of -- Major yet. And there are few few different types. And then masks annum and likely said -- anti. At present the same plane and an end and it's interesting when I was diagnosed -- headed neurologists tell me. And human he downtown Tina I'm thinking man the test results that a person had and that's for -- treatment options. He with saint Agnes and ideas. Yes there is not seen that. Committed or violence to these individuals. And their treatment options. And the first treatment option Allison 1993. FDA approved. And they answered her and injectable. And that is I mean that's. That's not too long and how many really isn't 93. And and then just struck by how recent that then that there's been. A lot of progress in the last 1015 hours and money. And to anything. In the more people understand this disease them earlier folks are diagnosed with and am gonna. You know harder -- more active proactively -- about raising money and to fund research. To better understand this disease. Then. I mean I I think that's been a huge. And a reason why in the past ten years we've just had so much progress. And -- And I it'll be interesting because. MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease it's it's. And I always think if you -- to hear from multiple sclerosis. And mania help address some of the other I don't mean rises the link on handling the absolute. Mainly. Then they're -- plane had an experimental drug treatment. Back in the early days news approved imprint Kenya but crimson -- saying that's so fascinating they still don't know -- Rangan. -- it was a attendance or was it helpful team. That experimental drug. I don't know not at that time been -- it maybe -- They've had a lingering effects to your usual did you get on a drug therapy group in the mid ninety's when when. Stuff sort of becoming available was on the way to -- for babysit her name is like a lottery for -- draft long ago. And I got on drivers traveling about so I didn't. Take the first. Approved drug use chemotherapy. And really two years -- a -- it must have been typical. -- that produced it. Turn on the body to be part of it it's you know that we captors the worse and and you know -- that your. So are you currently on. A drug therapy may be in near term therapy you're not. And why is that neurologists. After the -- he says that last almonds in there. Humans and he's that I would be the poster child for that drug. Because they're really. A field I walked editors and mature I think any better but it. I feel better most of the time and so I'm based on sustaining. Stuff over. Cramps and kind -- OK so that's what works very entered treatment. So how often do you visit your. Your doctor at least twice a year. In the early days -- there every treatments every quarter as our -- Where where where your sentence changing quickly at that time they were there were I'm actually walking better now and I and I used it. He stepped scooter when -- -- -- uses scooter markers. Now since this since the chemotherapy. Drug that you were talking that really did make a difference in terms of mobility -- run into people haven't seen. -- So that's a particular -- it just. It speaks to how important the research -- which speaks to how important the donations are because he need the money then to fund -- researcher Jeanne. Without it it's -- I mean it's it's it's essentially doesn't exist -- about it. So if folks wanted to make a donation. Where would they can -- to to do that. If you make it to -- the national MS nineteen David can -- Afghan national MS society to not more. -- me -- and we have a couple of special events that we do parent -- and and it to fund raise for him. Our. Research chemistry searched. As well and raise some money to fund the programs and services that the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Then. Forgot it's and there are -- fundraising. Events -- and ops in and we had the walk MS Austin witches the national limit society's signature event. And we he tests hundreds of -- And across the country trapped in here and then an ain't chrome. Unfair help manage and a nightclub the -- PMS and -- which is in cycling -- friend he's downtown Austin it's and it. Nice day that's been going on awhile and that's just it's Adam. It's it's -- guidelines let us through -- 151000 participants I was raised eighteen million dollars this year but citizen just. Let my my my let me Elaine. It speaks to how committed are cyclists are to its dissidents and students and to their fundraising different plants and and it inspires me every time I see. Participation -- 20000 people. Finish line and friend the State Capitol it's pretty cool yeah. So emotional and an entire day on the finished and -- they're all sorts of people rise. Feel -- that you're good yeah that's accurate. Enhanced picture dressed and wearing one of the things that strikes me is beyond that so difficult about the disease is. Is its unpredictability. Of you know that it could go from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis and then the whole spectrum of other issues that can happen between so. It's just stunned you know it's it's a shock to the system. When it happens said to be able to to go to folks who understand what that feels like -- and then saying hey -- some other resources and tools -- It will help you that you probably didn't know about then suddenly brings in like OK you know my life is gonna continue. And they're gonna help me not in Jerusalem and. Yes and I think that's -- it. What we care man this is the feeling of being isolated and a Latin meaning that there is this overwhelming means that is life. Altering. And Sudan. And just feeling completely overwhelmed. By the information and I ever -- by me. What your future. -- -- -- It's and then it changes your whole life and end and that's Clinton this and then tries to do his connections. Builds and canine -- alone. You're living with and that's. Groups circle of supporters. You are not personally affected at the disease live. Him in live with someone with -- -- someone with -- and and connects. And connect them with others who are. Indirectly. Impacted I missed disease -- There's just building a broader sense of community for people who are living with obstacles and since I think it's probably. The best way. Honor for me to describe what we're trying to achieving tube and at the event. Does the society also connect people to maybe some of the newer drug trials. Is that something doctors would Dietrich cancer patient and it's -- a neurologist yes. But they've got all the MS society has. Breaking news in the of their -- top of what's going on in it can ask your doctor. Have you heard of course right. I wondered because I read all my gosh. A few years ago it's going to be an article. In the newspaper that was talking about -- I gather most of the drugs for a multiple sclerosis are injected yes because they are I think interferon or proteins they can't do that just -- Yeah if you're not and he. And -- -- yeah I understand that they are extremely expensive so that that's a whole other issue with your. In shore and you know and their willingness -- Ability to to cover that with obamacare coming and that many contrasting. This is the but I do you remember reading an instance again a couple of years ago I don't remember when that they word do you -- some trials are experiments with something that would be no despray. And I remember thinking that the huge difference and an individual's life to go from. You know -- daily or weekly injection whatever might be to suddenly something that's like -- -- -- I mean. Well in the past cavaliers to new oral fair. And so. I don't even I don't like getting -- actually shot once a year. -- I can't imagine having to. Give myself a -- Every day like two week or month. And me and impact she psychologically kids who normally and had it right after it's out. To have an oral care repeat that you can take a -- And huge change. Roots. In that and that it can. And there's oral therapies came around just a wind came up this year -- -- teams that extra brand name him. And that is thanks to the research and -- folks willing to give up there in their time in their pocket next to make that happen. That's so important because seen as as much progress as has been made. I'm struck that there could actually be secure uncovered for -- That -- -- like that that's our goal I mean I always tell people please let me out of a job. Well -- yeah absolutely put me out of a job. And they're staring people and I care about happens disease and I and I would laughed it tonight. Have to go to work everyday and ask people to raise money to find a cure for disease because that's not necessary. That was great that day turned Foster oh yes I used to be the development manager for the national MS society but I'm not anymore because it they found Schiller yes this happened. Really and the first again RA. The events. But on the other hand a lot of people lose their job or can't work anymore because of him and then. I think us but we do. He has an organization. And there are great minds. Come together not my mind I raise money to find the but the programs and services -- these great minds come up -- They really like at this disease long term and what a person. Who is newly -- nest. Will need it the day indictment cents a tummy in six months -- -- since the meaning six years while filming in sixty years. In how -- as an organization. That provide. Planners and those needs throughout that time line in the progression and of this disease. Serbia short term you know financial assistance and won't. People honor. Having a hard timing can't meet their mortgage payments we provide financial assistance. And for -- Short term short term needs short term assistance. Moon we advocating higher quality health care. And in disability rights. We have camp for her kids her living with him to attend and just be okay. Then they have -- -- linked to an hour impacted by an instant instant plug them if fame. That's short that's a terrific list of resource room and at that people really should be aware of them. Because as you were saying these medications are so expensive so. I guess. If you're newly diagnosed. The silver lining is that there are treatment today Aden. That didn't exist as recently as 1990 -- -- and so on that's that's the hopeful Manson on the form and maybe the punch in the side is that they're really expensive and depending on what your insurance situation and in May be putting you on a tough spot to be able to you before that medication -- intangibles and other. Concern for right and so feature you you might be dealing with the shock on and there. You know grief the sadness everything that comes with the diagnosis like that and then. -- -- How can afford treatment. It just doesn't seem right to us. Doesn't make sense -- -- right doesn't seem right which is which is why. Gets to the national MS society I think are so critical and -- to support all those wonderful tools and that's resources and you just mentioned Trenton. So let's sit if someone wants to make a donation say that website one more time to. It's national MS assigning -- war. And it's all about raising funds. To support and that's research and programs and services that directly impact individuals and families who are living with the disease. Trend Foster development manager of the national MS society and done Abner. Living with -- thank you so much to go to. Yeah again thanks for having us. Back in a moment with more insight Austin. You know it's time now. I'm cleaning division tank you can always come up with an excuse for not visiting -- long term care and -- -- got a -- and yoga class -- -- tent pole I think. Thirteen -- Perfectly understandable since going to long term care and I'm just means you actually acknowledged that one day you will be. And dare we -- old. -- use grows beyond this thing. I don't. And 70% of older Americans will need some form of long term care services as they age and if you're fifty plus time to create your strategy for -- She can stay in charge you know fifty is the news there. She dorm. Long term care dot gov makes it easier to figure out where you wanna live who'll care for you and the newest wasting cover the costs and long term care doctor up. Find your own path forward and. Is -- and new gray hair way to. For America's wounded warriors sometimes are coming home. Itself. Every one of them needs our support to meet the challenges they face every day. The US so provides Americans a way to offer support to the warriors and their. Join us visited USO dot org to learn how you can make a difference in their lives the US sound. More than 100 million wilder and you'll be delete. -- it is just one real animals and and I'm -- I'm an actor. I grew up in the be ruled country title heart and he really opened. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- They lived right. At -- their habits that threaten their area. The best way to protect wildlife is to protect the land where they live. May I be -- like -- who -- private landowner to protect life. To her natural habitat and -- a permanent sanctuary. To learn more or to work with the humane all right -- Call 8029. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Six months from now I'm gonna be attacked. So there's one thing I wanna change about me right now. I tried before but this time I'll do it for me and the baby I'll quit smoking for. Most people don't succeed at first it often takes several tries the important thing is to never quit on yourself. This a quitter and you dot org or call 1800 lung USA for tools and tips from the American Lung Association. We support the quitter and you. Yeah. Do. You're listening to inside top stand and I'm here today with Karen Davis is the founder and executive director of the American widow project. Terry and I am really glad to have you share and so excited to learn about the American widow project and all the work you think you've had a mean give me the ability to share a little bit about it. So what -- tell us. How did the American widow project gets started this up is not a good place to begin. Yeah home unfortunately it started. Adam the -- the circumstances. I came home on May 21 2007. To bind to manage my home -- to notify me about my husband high school sweetheart Michael. Been killed in Baghdad Iraq. You know from there I sound my line. At 1030 at night hoping and praying that I would diet at the moment and the next day I was assigned to cash assistance officers army. Setup and I was handed a binder entitled the days ahead we will Hoffman and -- choices and Sunday's winner had a memorial service. And a week after that it became very apparent to me that the world would keep turning. Unfortunately I would keep inhaling an -- telling without my Sony and that's fine with me. And I would like to say that with time things got easier. Night it was the exact opposite. I found that as time went on people on disregarded my grief and they wrote off Michael soccer eyes. You either of their political stances are due to my very young age of 21. And it's. It really hit a low one in my hand wringing and never really lost anybody at immediate. You know we're just giving me. Remedies like we galaxy get remarried and everything will be better and so at that point. It's there it's not three months after. -- hit rock bottom in the sense that joining my husband seemed like a much better option than being a world. Just -- me to stop talking about him and wanting me not to call myself a widow because it was an ugly word. But that same evening 9 I -- my husband and you know the kind of person you iTunes kind of person looked lives. Let making people believe and he was possible and they know he had some nutrients. He want to -- for himself and with me. -- hero was rated. On the -- I at least needed to try to live for him for a while and like refineries and clip from myself. And I knew the first step in making that change is acceptance. And it's and you that I had to accept that I was a widow. Led 21. Until one place annuity and all of life's answers and typed in widow. When -- oppressed and -- and it came back with their response did you mean window. And that was really the catalyst to meet -- -- eight. Did them horrible moment -- hash and decided it can get a merely exists that not really live and kind of be a shell of human being for the last night. Or you know I -- take another round. And start to research that started did a little deeper and I chose that -- and with I started finding. Statistics. Suggesting others. Leave right now this morning. You know well over 34000 casualties. 50% of the serving her married. Average age of the service member killed in Iraq in incensed -- -- six and unfortunately as of today is over when he suicides per day. Service members and all engines. -- would those statistics on I wasn't alone. It's Allison enough I wanted to meet these woman. I want it to us and and keep the questions people stop asking me innocent -- went. See you made them get up every day and actually live after having a trash -- occur. And I was really -- all began. I can't imagine what that would be like cure so young and here ready to start life. Building on for your partner and all of that that you know those expectations. And to. And natural hit your knees -- stuff and the ability to breathe at that point must just seem arduous. Lines I. Literally and who lived at on my cell phone and not leave my house and I think sure I could for months. I just kind of watched TV and so I couldn't hold my eyes open anymore because I didn't wanna lay in bed and actually have to and I reality. Ends mean you Q was and I still consider him my best aren't you as a person I talk to you and I talked to him I always say that. And my darkest moments it was Michael it got me through because food and just talk now allowed to have talent about my struggles -- about what was going on. And it's and I think god for the things he instilled in me while he was alive because it still gets me through many moments -- In his six years later. Finding yourself -- regroup when each other and minimalist fifteen and marching bands and. And it's. We dated. EU is senior and I was a junior. Knowing gynecology retarded ways. In trying to find ourselves. Outside of just who we whereas a couple and then he contact -- when out of nowhere he had decided to join the united states army which -- no sense for anybody looking in he was a junior in college. -- college was paid for very intelligent person. And then out of nowhere I. I'm going to join the army and -- when I asked him why. He said and you know everybody is telling me not to do that are risk telling me don't do this got to do that you're just. You know having like a quarter life crisis. He's like -- -- and I don't silicon challenge in life I don't feel like I'm doing something bigger than myself. -- on this point. -- -- Joining the army not only that going infantry going airborne going combat engineer. It's going to challenge me even more than -- hopefully it. Will allow Miley to see you -- some sort of impact. And it's you know he was killed when a man put -- over 2000 pounds of explosives. -- underneath his vehicle from. On our route that they had been down a hundred times of war here is leading a convoy. You know many would have been killed so -- -- wearing -- that he. Died doing what he would have wanted to do to begin with which was. But his election from her mother's. He was certainly call answer -- to describe doing something bigger than yourself. How many people get a chance to do that in life and he was clearly important to him. On and then the worst happened. And Europe left behind and how do you Hattie move forward because. Like -- saying the sun does continue to rise and sat and people do use go on with their lives which must seem insane. And machines in all the clocks don't stop in the world and that time doesn't stand still. It's just something that them emotionally and so hard to come back from. And that I guess is part of your struggle in terms of realizing that you didn't have another network of people to go to did you have family support. And -- support as much as they could sit for 21 year old daughter who. In an at bat wing in nineteen Tuesday you were asked them. How was it when Michael died they would tell you that I died two who. It vicious. Horrible for everybody. And a lack of someone. Even -- family loves you and wants to support you they couldn't really understand exactly what you're feeling now and I it was a huge Arenas started the American widow project the first time that another widow who actually was one of the witness whose husband's. Constantly in the same exposed. Explosion as my husband. It was kind of like a light went off like wow we are showing the most tragic of tragedies. And sharing the most amazing -- love story is at the end of it you know there was some little spark I saw and -- that's -- -- I knew so well because it was a spark that made it difficult to me look at photos of myself when Michael was alive because I never thought that -- would come around again. And I solid and her and so I knew I wanted to translate that into an organization more. Can bring that life out. Me for an hour mean if word gaming for a weekend. Only showing in the it was possible maybe decade eleven -- they could still have an amazing life after every minute occurred. And I was really the basis that they -- -- -- generally being a tear to your support network it. In Europe programs in power is when we educate and we alone and connect with women all over the country. Lost their husbands in similar ways I mean we not only serve Iraq and Afghanistan with those. Certain non -- now -- so with that suicide car accidents murder not only. -- Iraq and Afghanistan conflict and Vietnam. Of war. And we don't doomed. Boring seminars you know we don't bring in counselors sentencing combed by and Stamkos and you grieve. And we set up -- -- event -- -- -- mean the only way I could live with that I've put my suit itself in situations where I had no choice. -- -- -- So the person and I -- did skydiving -- these men and and that -- times while I 90 consent a little crazy Blake's. You know and there are so many aspects of it brought light on each one of them. They're pushing themselves outside of there is a cool. Comfort zone and in return showing themselves to push themselves out of their brief comfort zone -- emotional comfort zone and they have. Ability of you know staying -- like I had reform months. And from there I mean we launched our huge program our whole organization in July 2000 me you're constantly in thirty what -- come in from all over the country. And read and zip -- -- and -- -- emblem and are people looking and it looks like you know. College girlfriend reunion. But it's in there are so many pivotal moments you know for myself remember to being down that river. And I started laughing. And it sounds so simple but I did not laugh out loud. For over a year after my husband's death because I was afraid that people's army laugh it think I was over him I didn't have to talk about them and I didn't want that to happen. I caught myself laughing pulled back. And then I looked around me and -- all these amazing women I knew I had on the same knock the door and same reality. There's an element of not -- reality I knew if they could laugh. I can laugh to -- it would be okay. And it's with that they just gave me confidence and knowing that my title as a military -- is not a titled human on on on a titled sorry for. Title represented not only my husband's sacrifice. My -- Even more than that that title since survival. And their survival and that is something we should be so proud. -- because. Even though we're young. Like he said I mean we're just playing down the bricks of what we wanted her life to be and the rules of the -- was pulled -- -- -- us and it was devastating and in the force -- an organization and we adhered to local support groups. I think there was the hospice support group I was really X. Finally you allow anybody and of course I got -- when he won and other youngest person was I think -- DA. Wherever every we gotta become the news group and they look at me like you're so lucky you're young team and you're still looking this you're so lucky that. And I kept pushing UN -- we wanna go anymore and that one of them called me he's come back. And I said you know a candidate combat but -- misty -- sure that I got there and I said. I know and. You'll keep saying that I have an easy. I look at you and for forty to fifty years you've got to tell her husband or wife he looked. Based -- -- live in person. I have forty -- fifty years. Not having -- having to say it. So the air having to say it. In my prayers in not in not Ace of Base. At pictures that I have on my may cancel let's -- I have to say. They don't think we can measure who has an easier or worse because I don't ink. And it's. Grief is something that one person can have more than enough I think it's universal. And it's. After that they stopped making those comments they you know that I had to kind of put in terms of they understand that it's not a comparison. And for them to say that I had easier because I was. Younger you know I could say -- you have an easier because you're older you're gonna die sooner than me. You know I don't like it couldn't have gotten. But I don't know and -- studied it kind of opened up this window for the -- like to know let. She's right why am -- saying mileage can be worse because I'm older you know and so they Inouye gave us that confident that we both needed you know in our age ranges of knowing that. Even though our circumstances were just as worse. There is so much hope to be found on -- parents and it's. That's what we we do at the American when a project we give them hope we get. The ability to see that there -- more than just some of their tragedy and we do it in ways that and been done before. War military widows and I think -- -- cases for -- all over the world in general. It seems intuitive to me as I'm thinking about the kind of activities that he do you outside because. When you get news is this tragic the contracts the body instinctively and that's it you know it's a field position kind of -- needs. So. Bringing women to the opposite of that is expansion and enlarging your territory and of course anything you can do outside. I think it's closer to god I mean it is -- being outside man made created walls and experiencing. Even just tiny pieces of nature let alone you know zip lining or skydiving bungee jumping whatever might be so that it's really. Interest seeing that you came up with this sort of how did you come up -- it's really what I'm wondering how did you think this is what we need to do this is what these women like me need. You know I I wrote I. I'll just be honest I was thinking you know what I wanted and I hope that maybe other women not so it's a you know an animated creating. Mean I created documentary where went on -- country before we launch the program where I was asking -- -- different stages of their grief. Different ages some with children some with out. You know everything from how they met their spouse to what they're doing with their -- now and it was balanced and we worked only when we got to about ten. Alive I released on the magic happened and so. You know I am afraid of heights and we did the skydive John. I knew in a way that my husband was airborne that he jumped on land. It was a way for -- head still feel connected to understand an aspect of his life that he hadn't. And been able to share with me and that is really how bad idea -- about it after that it was just. What can we do it's gonna make us come alive and like you said I mean it was our purse program -- what we caller getaways. We have three categories are. Life embracing getaways which meaning when you were mentioning of minds skydiving surfing Simon went off and it's. I can and just done a lot of crazy things and then we have our. And -- get back get aways which are all based on culture with -- aligns them to see that by helping others that can help themselves. Because. I was a huge lesson for me. So they've rebuilt homes in New Orleans they worked with orphanages on giving you know Christmas is -- -- just an amazing things all of the country. Then we have our inner peace -- which. More of that introspection that time for them to. Just liquid and so we've done yoga on the beaches of San Diego we've done art -- you've done some really amazing amazing things as well and so. I really just this kind of creating incoming companies and. Ideas as things of me you know I would like to try in the beginning and then obviously once he began -- are giving us again. It's on to do this -- promise as they do it my husband. And they only they could see myself doing it is maybe I was able to do it over a weekend with the all. -- -- a lot of those. And a lot of the ideas came from that and allowing these Wilmington still experience things they. Why do expanse of their spouses is a support network. Wasn't judging them. -- -- them how to grieve or when to stop crying and it allowed them to just. Experienced things in bill alive and -- -- their spouse and love of the military leaders who understand whenever it or sacrifice. So this is a program the American widow project that is for windows all over America. I mean we I would assume in Germany there's space is all over the world still. And -- And we are seeing and how do you get in touch with -- that's is there you know liaison with the military that helps you. And -- folks and I wish you know -- red tape and we didn't want a big government under the organization. But luckily you know we've gone to the Pentagon only worked with the dear do you and -- -- -- -- it by now when they get that -- were listed as a resource. On Dover Air Force Base were all the bodies come through. They're killed overseas and they contacted us directly and said can we have -- -- Server outreach services and you program all the army bases and -- contact dawn. And so we're doing as much as we can. Knowing that we can't get the names of these women and men. Knowing that we're pushing. -- information out to -- the venues in the portals that will give it to them and unending believe that. I don't wanna call them right after their husband has killed and what the American -- project I know for me I mean. An overwhelming amount of cards and packages and things from strangers. And it's a can't. Remember when he ended with eight home I don't remember what was in them and so. We always tell people in the contact -- -- -- -- but Ryan Hughes has been just was killed in home. And equipment contact -- you know -- you know are they ready you know they asked you to ask us. And -- say yes then of course I'll call and make those contacts and. Hugest round and we have our newest program without you which -- all education creates. Section educationally base and it kind of was that answers the questions I got after getting. Lot of our other programs like -- getaways for nine years away as the saying okay -- I. I can survive I know that I'm not a dime a broken heart and I know -- list after my husband's death saying -- I wanna do that I. -- idea and would like DO. And we looked at areas where they're having a lot of struggle or wine or guidance in those areas where hope and and it's overcoming obstacles. Pursuing their passion entrepreneurship. And health and fitness. And so -- -- -- -- -- and a back to school has learned in the last -- And getting back in the school winners in the thirties forties with were kids all of those things. And and we launched on its insurance and amazing it's too. Know that we're all encompassing in the sense that we're not only connect -- when other witness and shown them that there is life after that even more than that. In -- -- track where they mean amazing legacies with themselves. And I mean there's more -- to -- he's going go to our programs and then. Go on to graduate college -- on their own business or lose to fifty pounds they gained after their husband or wife died and and -- of the things. Really not make me feel. My heart smiling. Must be so gratifying. Because you can look at that and you can see that you mayoral confronts and someone's life. In a meaningful way may be the most meaningful way. You know -- in anything I always tell them before we do any of these and written about. -- -- Almost when he and -- all of it to cheer. About you might well would you for the year and December and it's. You know -- and seeing a lot of winners and meeting them and I always tell them that. You know I'm not showing them how to do I'm not telling them how to do I'm just reminding them that the path was there all along. And maybe they've got it was the Aaron understood it turned their vision -- Selig look there it is. Only you can walk and only you know how to -- Now in in its gonna be unique for every person I mean we have a lot of what does that. In and -- -- gone on to get remarried or their dating and they'll call me and I can just look at the resources because. On his team people thought that after I got remarried and you know they didn't -- -- -- an end and that I've dealt with only emotions that I actually find it more difficult than ever and so we bring -- -- in two and for them to -- that -- acknowledged and recognized me. I understand that grief is old life time process -- something that you just don't get over. In a year period it's something you've struggled -- every single day and where these women have children. Had to struggle it with every big date you know when their kid goes to kindergarten when they graduate high school in anything narrator -- get married those are the moments where. You know and they're absence is continuously. In the and in their base and so. We you know our program an organization that is here for the long haul and only sort of getting Vietnam witness means and -- utilize their programs. And gone skydiving when this they've gone serve and -- come -- overcoming -- -- courses and. Overcome the limiting beliefs and their mind by using the musical metaphors like breaking through led to their bare hands are walking on glass. We see that impact that has me on them and seeing me pay even though it's been thirty years -- years. So I mean that's where it just allows us to see this is something that. Obviously needs to be here. Not only are the women in effect in the current conflicts. You know unfortunately the ones still to come changing the no doubt. There can be no doubt that increase as a lifelong process when you have Vietnam what has coming to you and then of course the absence of that person in the life of a child will always be there glaring myself. And I do you think society -- silicon say well you are widow or -- orbit now you're remarried so. -- must be okay you know -- over that chapter now and everything's hunky -- And there must be. The very least feelings of guilt beginning to date again let -- finding -- somebody to partner with and moving forward in the managing those new relationships with children. Can only imagine how complicated and is. It is and you know we have our face to face events like I say it was -- do. You know fifteen to twenty of those a year all over the country or about to launch our online classes which -- using Google hang out -- as -- to talk about. Dating after dad. All of those things spent come up as little nuances that people forget about that that are big bills in -- hunt until with holidays how to deal with that. Angel very seriously call -- the death day and your spouse. We wanna connect these women even if they canyon in a while and Austin are quite aware of the locations of our events to see other women face of basic talk -- -- to see that. Their experiences are all unique and yet you all have a commonality. And. I mean that is I mean I am and -- ordain minister and I've -- and I wish to Mexico would -- is getting remarried. Called means -- hand. I would not be getting remarried and it wasn't for the -- key because it to -- -- Made me realize it matter what I do whether -- married or not -- found guilty for the -- and taking. And I deserve to be happy and whatever warm that is ends. Would you mind marrying me. -- -- your husband and you know is a beautiful ceremony and you saw how much integrated. Has been passed on and how much love. Her new husband has. For her husband that's passed on because he understands that she is a woman she is because of what has happened to his entire. And to be able to -- balloting was amazing. It sounds like an amazing experience did you become more danger that event. Yes they did and have been asked to -- the more times. You don't like the widow minister -- I've actually -- my -- just got back a month ago a friend being. Bridesmaid for another -- that got married so you know whether -- be going to a letting people were going to graduation and war. On being there at a business launcher window for me I love. Two to see what -- solid themselves. Now and let them know that there are an example -- -- that's an inspiration. Really that can't support just cannot be underestimated. Never I mean IA. I looked at Michael. When he was alive. And I didn't understand his passion for the military. Because at that -- I didn't understand what it was -- passion outside of my relationship with him. And for me to see him light up and for me to see him. Saying he would sacrifices -- to this for this passion and I I just I was can be used. And then he died and then I hit rock on them and then I met my Ers would now. And then I started they'd be key and then I knew what it was to have passion or something outside of him I knew what it was to build I would. And I still -- I would sacrifice my life for these women. Because. They have not only given the ability to I'm my passion they've given the ability to live and even more than the ability. Be proud to be alive after it was my. That's pretty incredible. I'm pretty lucky and unlucky that I got seated him and I am I wish that he could have been -- You mean. Find it now all ensure that he is in so many ways. With me and it's a meeting get up everyday and it's whether it be to answer a hotline call at 3 in the morning for Roanoke. Or to plan and events will work to see excitement. Of them looking forward to an upcoming. In that we have going on or they can feel special or knows they can be among widows and an ever. In their -- and and this makes me so happy and it's. You know right evergreen you're that passes with an organization I see myself going -- -- the organization growing and expanding ends. My ability just live life -- If you're just not joining us on inside Austin I am talking with haren Davis the founder and executive director of the American widow project. The website is American widow project dot org. Terror and all the different things that you do the services that you provide to widows and would Norris no doubt -- -- -- So I'm sure fundraising as an important part of your organization of someone listening wants to make -- -- right now what would be the best way for them to do that. I'm in monetary guess definite plan are our blood line for the organization and they can go to America when a project got word. Just good bad donate button right on the front page. If not they live in the Austin area -- in one of our biggest programs what do you which is our educational program military leaders and maneuvers can always use the court of local businesses might wanna do workshop. Individuals on -- turnovers and they wanna make the monetary get done itself on. And they own or her rent out their -- I mean we would love this and whenever we -- weekends at their home and they want to contribute and that way. I mean there's so many ways -- on the website to. As a how to help town they clicked and gives them a listen to options outside of just monetary donations. These women understand how fine in life is and with that knowledge. They could've. -- can no lifetime horrible routes but instead you know to the organization they've created a life that's inspiring. Only to other windows. It's just dated eight people you know for me to steer people you know either come to one of our advance our lead whenever workshops and meet these women face to face and say. This thing and go home and hug my husband a little tighter now are just tell people I love them a little bit more. That's when you know we can should these what does it look positive impact it's having on every one and so I think they'll find at the evening is so inspiring. It's inspiring. More than -- is focusing on the. Lost that occurred because. I mean that's way way our organizations about audition I am. There is so much like after lots. -- powerful reminder to be here now it's easy in the present moment appreciate what you're what you're experiencing. And there is something about the word. Can be overseen moonlight and Valentino. Nick and get -- movie with. One of culture around Kathleen Turner Elizabeth Perkins grant and Elizabeth Perkins husband dies suddenly he has never run and he's gone and in the you know in the screenplay she talks about time that W more. And I was a first time ever considered the word and I think a lot of people do you feel that way but there is something -- like something in -- of the word itself. Up I'm describing that. Yeah I mean obviously the words mean something. Intrinsically tragic. So many words have so many confrontations that we can expect that connotation and change until someone comes along and says that's not what it is. And -- me. When Michael was alive. And we would be all about and he would say this is my wife. It didn't mean the most pride in the world I mean I still get butterflies in my if they can't I shoulders you know go back and I spend a little straighter. Thinking of and I wanted to have that same feeling when I introduced myself as his widow because -- ink. You know it should be held the same esteem it's it's a title. Because you have love it is a title that you earned because. You know if the larger thousands of titles that represents an eternal love I mean that's what I mean and even when that perseverance. Through. No matter -- know what happens markers and you know it's titles. I'm more than a military would know obviously. It's the title that I don't think should have that negative connotation the only way that we can start. Changing how people think about is that we have a lot of what does that understand that they should be proud of that and it's funny when widows come -- events most are often. -- You know and you know they're saying that because people have told him not call themselves or they seen those movies and they are thinking this is an ugly word. And by the end of the week and their scale incidents that have been. Do know -- -- really -- yeah. So transformational and it was a big deal of pride and a lot of that comes from meaning other women who have gone to the same thing that they know that they hold that title. Same regard -- That is really that is really some ten. -- and Davis founder and executive director of the American widow project he can find out lots more information at American widow project dot org especially if he'd like to make a donation. And there's other ways if you like to make other than a monetary donations and services that you can get involved with. And turn I wanna thank you so very much for being here and sharing with us only edu and the American widow project. Yeah. Thanks for listening to inside us that. Did you know there's a proxy to leave veterans throughout the state of Texas and 40000 -- -- Given our heroes project strives to support each one of them and their families are conducting -- -- retreats and holiday -- Eight to XP believes a whole family serves in the best way to support the troops is not supported them. We support all veterans and active duty soldiers from all branches for more information on our services visit us at HOH project that court. Again that's 808 project -- court.