What Does a Great Caregiver Do?
By: Laura Effel
When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012, I had never heard of the disease.
Learning that I had cancer was terrifying, and it didn’t help that my first husband had died of cancer. My primary care doctor tried to reassure me: “Multiple myeloma is treatable. I have patients who have lived with this disease for 10 and 20 years.”
But my husband Robert knew what to do. His father had had multiple myeloma years before we were married, when treatments were rare and not especially effective. He had gotten to know Dr. Brian Durie and the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) that Dr. Durie headed and signed us up for its patient and family seminar. At the meeting he asked Dr. Durie: who should we get to treat Laura? The answer set us on our path.
The IMF meeting was only the beginning of our journey to get treatment for me with one of the nation’s best myeloma specialists. After nearly two dozen treatments in more than 8 years, including 6 clinical trials, I finally reached remission for the first time this year.
Along the way, Robert took care of me. He never hesitated to drive me to the emergency room, several times late at night. Any time I was in crisis, he was there for me. He would tell members of our support group that he just drives the car, but that was never all. He did the grocery shopping, cooked our meals, nudged me to consume more protein, read my test results, asked questions of my doctor, helped me to understand. Trained as a chemist and food scientist, he made sure he knew what I needed and provided it.
I have the best, most loving caregiver and partner anyone could have.
How lucky I am!
The Path to Angel
Celebrating 20 years of Angel Foundation.
A tribute to perseverance, passion, and one so loved,
who was lost so many years ago.
The summer of ’64 and Jim. A beginning.
Ishmael Israel: Dreams interrupted by parent’s worst nightmare. Waking up every day now, thinking: ‘it’s the first day of the rest of my life.'
Ishmael Israel has spent much of his life helping others.
Over the past 2 decades, he has advocated for people in his community and around the country through his work with the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council (NRRC) and the Umoja Community Development Corporation (UCDC).
At NRRC, he first volunteered for years and later answered the call to serve as Interim Executive Director. It was in this role that he met his wife, Julia.
NRRC is a nonprofit organization that serves Near North and Willard-Hay neighborhoods in Minneapolis, encouraging economic development projects for residents in those neighborhoods.
“NRRC allowed us to represent our community when dealing with the city of Minneapolis, but we founded another nonprofit called Umoja Community Development Corporation that was not bound to a certain geographic area so it allowed me to advocate for policy change nationwide.”
The First Year of Grieving
By: Heather Erickson
Today, April 26th, marks the first anniversary of my husband’s death. What a difference a year can make in your life. At this time last year, I was running on very little sleep. I was so afraid that he would die while I was asleep on the couch next to him. By the day he did die, I was so tired that I asked his brother to come and stay with him while I took a nap. Another hour later, and the nurse arrived. She told us that it was time.
The StewARTworks Foundation - Pain Management & Palliative Care - Illuminating, in bright, vibrant colors and beautiful works of art, a painful subject.
“When you don’t know, talk to someone who does…”
… she’s Diane Leavitt, from The StewARTworks Foundation, and she knows pain management and palliative care, and she’s here to talk about it and educate us.
Illuminating, in bright, vibrant colors and beautiful works of art, a painful subject.
My name is Diane Leavitt and I am a co-founder, along with my daughters, Rhiana and Morgan, of the StewARTworks Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide support and education for family caregivers of palliative care patients being treated for pain.
Chris Meuleners: happiness, sadness, hope, despair, and places between.
Caring for his wife, Amanda, who has been fighting AML Leukemia for over two years. Like the flip of a coin, never knowing if it's heads or tails, and living like it landed on its side.
Tony Peterson: Between Seasons
Tony Peterson loves all things outdoors and nothing beats duck hunting in the fall. To him, true beauty is a crisp fall morning, with the sun coming up over the swamp and the geese migrating South, forming patterns across the blue and white sky.
He’s preparing for something he never thought he’d have to prepare for: the passing of his beloved wife, Lynne, who is in the final stages of pancreatic cancer. She is the love of his life, his most cherished friend, who he not only loves but likes and respects and understands and cares for deeply – more deeply than he’s ever cared for anyone.
Through the tragedy of a terminal cancer diagnosis, the desperation of multiple failed treatments, the reality of facing their children with the truth of it all, a mission and hope shines through.
They inspire us: Cindy Bartlett on her mission, Priceless4Purpose