About two weeks ago (in my April 4th post), I wrote a personal plea (on behalf of myself and the rest of the NHDD team) to you-everyone from hardcore National Healthcare Decisions Day advocates to high-profile advance care planning supporters and cynical members of the media- to get behind this national initiative. I asked you to not only complete your own advance directive, but to inspire others by demonstrating the courage to share your advance care planning story with the nation, maybe even the world. I knew my reasoning was logical, my example was my own so it was personal enough, but still I wasn't sure how you'd respond. However, today-some 12 days later-I sit here sorry that I ever doubted you. It is clear that you are extremely committed to educating Americans about the importance of making healthcare decisions now in order to prepare for the medical unknown later (like I urged in my Monday post)! I am simply overwhelmed and moved to tears by the number of heartfelt stories you shared with us. So, as promised, I am sharing your stories and your plans to honor NHDD here over the next few days in hopes that they will serve to inspire others. First up is...

Tanya Roberts, a social worker and the NHDD State Liaison from North Carolina, who shared her family's story within a few hours of our ask.
Here it is:
'As a social worker and a paralegal in a trusts and estates department of a law firm, it was very important to me to ensure that my husband and I had advance directives. It was also very important to me that my aging parents had these documents and that their wishes were expressed to me and my sisters. I knew that it would be difficult, but that it was necessary for us as a family. Once we had this discussion, there was much relief among us all. We now knew as a family what our parents did and did not want at the end of their life. I encouraged my sisters to do the same as we were all having children and our impending pregnancies and deliveries were medical situations that could easily result in medical emergencies. Fortunately, among the three of us, we had seven healthy pregnancies and deliveries. But, our husbands and our parents were prepared either way. They would not have to make a heart wrenching decision on our behalf not knowing if what they decide is what we would have wanted. The discussion and preparation of advance directives was the best gift we gave each other. Every day we are grateful and I continue to encourage others to do the same. '
Check back through the rest of the week for more advance care planning stories and plans/initiatives to honor NHDD 2011 that have been shared with us.

A perspective from Michele Matthews