I want to nominate someone to be a Wellsphere Hero. Please, bare with me as I try to explain. My sister in law, Jenny, has had breast cancer for over 12 years. It metastasized and now, because of the size of the tumors, her bones break very easily. The doctors didn't think she'd make it this long and actually call her their miracle patient. As you can imagine, she has gone through a very rough time with this. Although she deserves it, she is not in a position where she would want to be a wellness hero. She is on heavy medications continuously. Her caregiver, her husband and my brother, Allen, is the person that I wanted to nominate as the hero. I hope I'm not considered biased because he is my brother. I've watched him care for her for many years but saw it first hand when I stayed with them this year.
Allen's children are grown with their own families so he has it all to do himself. He cares for her every need 24/7. This is complicated by the fact that he is also disabled and is in constant pain. My heart aches for them both. With all of this going on, the most notable element is his positive attitude. It is unbelievable how he maintains without ever complaining. He truly has dedicated his life to ensuring that Jenny always has what she needs and that she has the most comfort that he can offer in his limited capacity. This is why I feel that he deserves to be honored.
It is a husband's job to care for his wife. But my brother always goes the extra mile. When Jenny was first diagnosed with cancer, Al began teaching himself the importance of good nutrition. Although money is very scarce from all of the medical expenses, he spent the extra money on a homeopathic doctor to see if that would be helpful for her as well. He poured himself into learning all that he could about natural supplements and organic foods and learned the benefits of staying away from processed food and environmental toxins. Although Jenny's cancer progressed, he continued to ensure that they used all natural products and organic food.
Then to make matters worse, he was also diagnosed with bladder cancer. He did what he needed to do for himself but continued to focus on Jenny. His cancer is in remission now, thank God, but Jenny is in the last stages. Although he is also disabled with a very painful hip and back, he provides his wifeï¿½s total care.
During the last part of 2007 she was hospitalized. Once she was stable and they figured out a plan, he brought her home from the hospital to live out her last days in comfort. The doctors felt that she would not make it past Feb 08 and they told Al that Jenny's bones were too fragile to take any chances on moving her without the use of the hoyer lift. Since my brother struggles daily from the pain he is in, I felt that I could help by moving in with them. We did not think Jenny would make it more than a few months.
Jenny's condition demands delicacy, using a hoyer lift to move her from her bed to a recliner or her wheel chair. We toilets her when needed for bowel movements and she also has a catheter bag. Her needs are the usual toileting, baths, hygiene, meals, medications, doctor visits, groceries, cleaning and all the other normal daily activities. Her pain is extensive and many nights we just sit with her and pray. Although it would be much easier to just buy restaurant meals or frozen foods, Al just continues to prepare her meals with organic foods made at home. Many times, just to have Jenny turn it down because she was too ill to eat.
When Jenny made it past February I committed to stay longer. But finally in May I hesitantly left their home to care for my own family. I was so concerned about how Al was going to do something that took both of us for those last 5 months. But he did it and continues to do it. It's been almost 6 months since I left and he's been able to continue to care for her and their home as well as continue with the organic food preparation. It has been a very rough road for them both. I go there once a week to let him get out for groceries and errands.
Al's has a driving desire to now teach people the importance and benefits of unprocessed foods, herbs, supplements and the dangers lurking in our toxic environment. A friend of his helped him to put up a website so he could pass on the wealth of information that he's learned all these years. He's spent so much time learning about this and although it is probably not going to save his wife, he believes it has given her more years than she would have had without them. I talked him into starting a blog. I felt that this would be a way for him to pass on more information but also because it could be a place for him to express himself. Although he's still learning about blogging, he feels he's doing good for those that need his insight knowledge on the subject of cancer and nutrition.
He does not know about Wellspere.com and he certainly doesn't know that I'm writing to you. I found your name on Lori Laws blog. When I was watching the video I remembered something my brother had recently said. When we were planning his blog he had mentioned that if he could just use the wealth of information that he's absorbed to help other people, it would help him to feel like it wasn't all for nothing. He never complains and when I ask how he's doing, he always tells me he's good, even though I know there are days that he isn't. He enjoys writing and even has written poetry throughout his life. In fact one of his poems is about the Challenger space shuttle which is now on the walls at NASA.
I don't know if you have a place for someone like him. I know that he is genuine and deserves so much for all the good he has done. Even before Jenny's illness he would never turn anyone away. I believe he has the gift of mercy and it shows in everything that he does. Regardless whether your group considers him for this award, he is truly a hero to me.
If you consider him for a 'hero' position, I feel it will make some of what they've gone through, actually worthwhile. It would be blessing to see his eyes light up again.
His blog is http://cancer-isnt-scary.blogspot.com
His website it http://www.canceranswersthatheal.com