Windsor Locks Caregiver Receiving National Recognition, Meeting President Obama in April
In recognition of her commitment to caring for one of our country’s wounded warriors, Dee—who is also a Navy veteran herself—will be traveling to Washington, D.C., in April to be honored by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. Her visit will include meeting President Barack Obama at a reception at the White House on April 9th.
For Dee, being a caregiver is something that comes naturally. As the mother of a special needs child, she observed many dedicated and effective caregivers over the years. She also acquired a great deal of sympathy for parents and family members who often get worn down delivering around-the-clock assistance with little or no support.
“The Dole Foundation will be releasing the results of a study of military and veteran caregivers in April,” Dee states. “It will provide information about the needs of caregivers, the resources available to them, and what our country can do to provide better support.” Dee says she was happy that someone was asking these questions.
What do caregivers need? “Doctors who will listen” is at the top of Dee’s list. She recounts the situation she and her friend, William, encountered when he moved to Connecticut from Texas in 2008.
“William’s new doctors wanted to stop all of his medications and do their own tests and diagnostics to determine what he needed,” she recounts. “Three years of effective therapies would have been thrown out the window!” Dee maintains that “the valuable knowledge of caregivers needs to be treated with respect by medical professionals.”
When she travels to Washington in April, Dee will be one of two military and veteran caregivers from Connecticut selected as a 2014 Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow. A total of 58 caregivers from around the country have also been selected for this distinction. Dee is clearly thrilled about this opportunity of a lifetime.
Although he won’t be making the trip to Washington, Dee’s friend, William, is able to work evenings in a warehouse and is close to earning his degree in computer information technology.
Perhaps the best news of 2014 will be written in August when Dee’s husband, Joe, returns from his final military deployment to Korea. Army Sgt. Joe Blascyk, originally from Enfield, was also deployed to Iraq several times.
Thank you both for your service to our country and your commitment as caregivers.