Connie and Jim Roan are living in their 21st house together since marrying in 1962. Jim's career as an Air Force judge advocate took them to Oklahoma, Alabama, Germany, England, California, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and, finally, Missouri.
Through the years, the Roans have maintained an interest in diabetes research and treatment.
Their involvement began when their son, Brian, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. Eager to learn as much as possible, they became involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Connie eventually served as president of the Dayton, Ohio, chapter. "We knew the value of research in treating the disease," Connie says. Brian has successfully managed his diabetes over the years and has had an insulin pump since college. Jim points out that research was instrumental in making the insulin pump available.
The couple chose to retire to Missouri, where they now have a small farm in Warren County. They first connected with Barnes-Jewish Hospital after Connie researched doctors in their new locale.
"I quickly discovered that Barnes- Jewish had a tough reputation to beat," she says. "And, we learned that Barnes-Jewish is doing a lot of research on diabetes."
Jim says, "As we got to know the hospital and its foundation, we thought the idea of a charitable annuity to support our interest in diabetes research and care was a good idea. It works to our advantage from an investment standpoint as the interest rates tend to be a bit higher than other options, but it also is a way to support a good cause."
The Roans' annuity keeps regular checks showing up like clockwork, allowing them to focus on more important things, like working their farm and traveling to Australia and New Zealand for their upcoming 45th anniversary.