Bent But Not Broken is the first sign of a “lifesaver” I have seen in the many years I have spent as a caregiver. I am so excited for this nonprofit to come to fruition and bring awareness to so many who don’t understand this invisible illness that affects millions of people everyday. I say invisible because unless the person tells you what is going on in their lives, there are no obvious signs of the everyday struggle that they face. Diseases like these are not obvious to the “uneducated eye” and the person affected struggles everyday alone with the effects on their health whether it be mental, physical, financial or all of the above. The fight is constant to keep from losing the battle all together. The strength that is needed to do this is impossible and should be a point of enviable perseverance to those that are healthy. That is why there is a constant need for a caregiver and advocate.
I call the caretaker a cheerleader because that is what it has been for Lindsey & my situation. When someone you love is living with one of these invisible illnesses the “cheerleader” has to be there every day giving them hope and a reason to keep trying…to keep living for something. Without something to look forward to or a conquest of some sort, the battle is endless doom & gloom.
The caretaker can never turn off this support because they’re tired or have something else to do. They need to be there 24/7 and it is important for the person with CFIDS to know without a doubt that they do have someone there at all times no matter what the need may be. Sometimes it’s to listen, sometimes it’s for food or maybe a place to rest…sometimes, and many times, it can be for financial assistance because all of their resources have been spent. You need to let them know it’s OK to ask or need whatever it may be this time. The guilt of being dependent lays heavy on their minds, which leads to depression-which is a word many can identify with.
The greatest gift I feel I can give to anyone with this diseases is HOPE and unconditional love. But I can’t forget the important aspect of humor. There is not a lot of humor in the lives of people with this disease (and others like it) and it’s important that along with HOPE you bring them laughter-that is truly a gift. I say all of this because I believe so strongly in the need for awareness, not only for all the people who suffer from invisible chronic illnesses, but also for each of the cheerleaders who stand beside them with a constant shoulder to lean on and heart to warm their cold days & nights. They too need support.
Bent But Not Broken brings angels to the lives of all of these people. I am grateful that so many people will have an outlet and always feel …HOPE, unconditional love & even HUMOR. I couldn’t be happier to be part of something that I see my daughter feel so passionately about & something that can help so many that have been in my position. I hope everyone reading this benefits in one way or another from this site.
-Lindsey’s Mom & Caretaker
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