When we first became acquainted with FORCE it was just a few people scattered across the country on a message board that was created by Sue Friedman. In the year 2000 there was not much available for information and support for BRCA families. My wife, Ziva, tested BRCA1 positive in 2000 and this changed our lives. We embarked on a journey that led to reading the existing studies, interviewing breast and plastic surgeons, risk-reduction surgeries, recoveries, follow ups, more surgeries, and trying to get back to a new normal. We were a BRCA couple. Several years later our daughter, Sivan, tested positive for BRCA. We then became a BRCA family.
When Ziva first went to the FORCE meetings there was nothing to address the spouse support needs. As a practicing psychologist* this made no sense to me as what affects a partner in a marriage certainly affects the other. We discussed this together and began having spouse support meetings at most FORCE meetings in the Chicago area. I have led spousal support meetings at the past several Joining Forces conferences as well. It is a goal of mine to help grow FORCE's resources so that we can train facilitators and have spousal support meetings at FORCE meetings across the country.
*Chief Psychologist and CEO of Primary Care Psychology Associates, Dr. Paul Kredow founded Primary Care Psychology Associates to meet the demand of bringing primary care psychologists into collaboration with medical professionals at the clinic setting, outpatient offices, and in urgent care and hospital settings.