A Family Caregiver Journey Caring for Pancreatic Cancer

January 20, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

“Diet” Stroeh’s beloved wife, Margaret, was stricken with cancer. He became her family caregiver, walking the road of anguish and fear. He talks about his life, career and married life and his book, ‘Three Months: A Caretakers Journey from Heartbreak to Hope’, www.threemonthsbook.com. He describes the very first day that he and his wife set out on their journey with pancreatic cancer, and the things they talked about. He explains the challenges created for him and his wife during their journey together with the pancreatic cancer. He describes the ways they overcame or worked around the challenges during their journey with the pancreatic cancer. He says what more he would like to do and to see done by healthcare and social systems to increase help for family caregivers and their family members who are on their journeys with pancreatic cancer. He shares his message for family caregivers and their family members travelling their journeys with pancreatic cancer.

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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