Today is National Caregiver Day
This is a love letter to my wife, Jessica. It’s also a love letter to every single caregiver in this country.
Today is National Caregiver Day, a day to celebrate all of the people who help others manage their health. As you know, when somebody is diagnosed with a disease, it’s not just that one person whose life changes; their loved ones are also greatly affected. Many of us can’t manage our health on our own, so our loved ones assume a caregiver role.
If you are a caregiver, I want you to know you’re appreciated. This “invisible” work may not always be recognized, but without you there would be so much less hope. Thank you for giving your time and your energy to help keep our community strong.
My caregiver is my wife, Jessica. I’d like to tell you part of our story.
I live with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), which is a rare and often life threatening liver disease. I had been in and out of the hospital with declining health for nearly a decade when in 2019, I entered end-stage liver disease and was put on the transplant list. My beautiful wife Jess watched my body and mind change drastically from the man she fell in love with, yet she continued to support me every step of the way.
Watching someone you love deteriorate and fade away in front of you is very difficult. It was a scary time to be waiting for a transplant as the pandemic began, but Jessica remained optimistic and together we envisioned our lives in the future and continued to move forward despite many setbacks in my health. After my transplant, Jessica was always by my side, from changing my dressings and cleaning my incision to preparing meals and making sure that I was comfortable. She drove and accompanied me to all of my medical appointments, asking questions to my post-transplant team, ensuring I received the best care. There were times when she wasn’t able to visit me in the hospital because of the pandemic, but thinking of her kept me going. Today, I am stronger than before and this is because of her.
To Jessica, I want to say: thank you. I am eternally grateful for everything you have done to support me. You are an incredible caregiver and the love of my life.
Think of a caregiver in your life and celebrate them today. If you are a caregiver, celebrate yourself! And if you ever need help, please remember that the Canadian Liver Foundation is here to support us. If you find yourself or a loved one in need of assistance, you can call their National Help Line at 1 (800) 563-5483 or email CLF@liver.ca.
Thank you for reading my message, and I hope you have a wonderful National Caregiver Day!