2016 Care Partner of the Year: Annette Meeker
Michael Meeker describes his wife Annette as his “best friend, caregiver, designated worrier and wife of over 28 years.” Since Michael was diagnosed with MS in 2007, Annette has kept Michael’s well-being at the forefront — always offering her support and encouragement. “If there is a day I am down or tired or just not with it, she runs interference to insulate me from the stress, fatigue, or worries of life in general,” Michael said. “Annette’s love for me has never wavered. She truly wants what is best for me and our family.”
2015 Care Partner of the Year: Chuck White
Chuck White and his wife Judy were married for more than 34 years. Just before they were married, Judy was diagnosed with MS. Judy asked her mother to call Chuck to tell him that Judy understood if he didn’t want to go through with the wedding. Chuck replied, “I always loved her, and it doesn’t matter. We will make it through this together.” Judy’s MS progressed rapidly, and within three years, she was paralyzed. Lifelong sweethearts, Chuck never left her side. Chuck passed away from lung cancer in winter 2015.
2014 Care Partner of the Year: Andrea and Dean Blosberg
Andrea and Dean Blosberg are incredibly supportive of their children, especially their daughter Emily, who was diagnosed with MS in 2011. Through a year of mysterious symptoms, both Andrea and Dean provided encouragement through constant doctor visits, and also took time to care for their other children. Their hard work and optimistic attitudes are inspiring, especially since Dean lives with MS, too. When Dean was diagnosed in 1998, Andrea stepped up to the challenge and helped him through each relapse, while raising young children. Now, the whole family is dedicated to finding a cure for MS as volunteers and fundraisers.
2013 Care Partner of the Year: Jennifer Griebel Macht
Jennifer Griebel Macht was nominated for this award by her mother, Janet, who lives with multiple sclerosis. Jennifer has been a caregiver for most of her life, stepping in when Janet’s symptoms became more severe. Janet said one of her early memories is of Jennifer recruiting a neighborhood friend to help her up after she had fallen on the stairs. She also credits her daughter for moving her back home after a necessary stint in an assisted living facility. Jennifer worked with the county to put together a comprehensive care plan to ensure both her mother’s and father’s needs were fully addressed. Janet wrote: “To know my daughter Jen has continued to be with me, throughout my journey with MS, cannot be described in any number of words. She, along with my husband, have been my rocks.”
2012 Care Partner of the Year: Jennifer Grisé
Jennifer Grisé was nominated by her husband, Travis, who lives with MS. Travis said Jennifer makes every day perfect for him by making sure he has everything he needs and recognizing him as an equal partner in decision-making. Travis also said Jennifer is an incredible mom for their four-year-old son and loves to travel and spend time with family. Jennifer helps the MS community as well by making a difference in the lives of other people with MS. She stays current on MS research and treatment, and she’s an active Society volunteer, contributing to care partner programs throughout the year by serving on the chapter’s Care Partner Advisory Group. Jennifer exemplifies the true spirit of the Luminary Award — she’s a shining light in the life of a person with MS.