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Meet The 10 Americans Honored As The 2010 Parentgivers Of The Year

Parentgiving.com thanks everyone for making their heartfelt nominations and sharing such compassionate stories of caregiving. Each one was meaningful in its own way and we hope to bring all of them with you in "Caregiver Stories" in the future. Trying to select just 10 was difficult to say the least, and our finalists in no way detract from any of the efforts of the millions of caregivers across the country. Perhaps the best way to describe why we chose these stories is that theirs go to depths of caregiving that even many caregivers cannot fathom. For some it is the number of family members that draw on them for support, at times crossing four generations. For others it is the number of health crises that they had to wade through—some affecting their loved ones and some affecting the caregivers themselves and challenging their own ability to deliver care. We hope that you will find all their stories inspirational and, as we honor them all, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in caring for a loved one and that ultimately, in their words, you will feel blessed for having been given the opportunity to care for another human being. View the contest prizes and rules.

Parentgiving Honoree: Electra Jordan, Grand Prize Winner 
For the past six years, Electra has been the caregiver for her mother Audrey who suffers from kidney disease, needs constant care and is now on dialysis. Audrey had been living in another state and, realizing that Audrey could no longer take care of herself, Electra moved her…right into her own apartment. In October 2009, Electra experienced her…
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Parentgiving Honoree: Caroline Bell, First Place Winner 
In June 2006, in the space of one month, Caroline lost her job after 18 years in the corporate world due to downsizing and became a caregiver to her parents when she discovered that her mom, who she suspected had dementia, had amassed credit card bills totaling $100,000 and was hoarding purchases in her home. "I thought Mom and Dad…
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Parentgiving Honoree: Corinne Pierson, First Place Winner 
Corinne is caregiver for her mom, a role that has intensified over the past eight years, coinciding with the birth of Cori's daughter. Cori's role as health advocate, however, began 20 years ago when her mom Barbara had breast cancer. Soon after, Barbara married her second husband Norman and moved into his house, just a few miles from Cori…
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Parentgiving Honoree: Maria Comito, First Place Winner 
Six years ago, just after Maria's daughter Jade graduated from high school and was off to college, Maria started to live her dream: She moved to another state and began a new life and a new job. Then she learned that her mother Grace had started to develop Alzheimer's. Maria's father had died about 10 years earlier, leaving Grace alone to…
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Parentgiving Honoree: Patricia James, First Place Winner 
"My job as a caregiver is to relieve, comfort and ensure that the least amount of pain is felt, if possible. Most importantly, I want the person I'm caring for to know they're with someone who cares and that at the end of the day, they're never alone," says Patricia, a professional nurse who officially left nursing to care for her elderly parents.
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Parentgiving Honoree: Sandee Farley, First Place Winner 
Nine years ago, Sandee's husband was diagnosed with Huntington's disease, a debilitating illness with no cure. "In 2001, my husband, an electrical engineer, took early retirement from his job due to his Huntington's chorea," explains Sandee. "Doctors said there was no treatment available, but we refused to accept that and…
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Parentgiving Honoree: Henry Doss, Second Place Winner 
"My husband Henry is a superman caregiver," wrote his wife Christine. "He helped my sister and I care for our elderly parents over a 6-year period. Then, within months of my parents dying, his stepfather fell ill. He cared for his stepfather and mother through it all." After his stepfather died in 2007, Henry focused his efforts on helping his mother Clara stay…
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Parentgiving Honoree: Julie Lisiewski, Second Place Winner 
Julie has been taking care of her mom Anna for the past 13 years, since she fell and broke a vertebra. Julie first moved Anna from a house to an apartment where she could better manage. Then, eight years ago, after Anna suffered a severe stroke, Julie moved her into her home. Julie is trained in nursing, originally specializing in neonatal care, but…
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Parentgiving Honoree: Sally Casey, Second Place Winner 
Sally has been a caregiver since the 1990s when her parents moved closer to her and her mom June had a breast cancer recurrence. June's health was further compromised by acute leukemia. "My mom has taken care of her parents, as well as her children, her husband, in-laws, and now a grandchild, for as long as I can remember!," wrote her daughter Junell.
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Parentgiving Honoree: Tanya Baugus, Second Place Winner 
A few years ago Tanya traded in her SUV for a minivan, dubbed the "Senior Shuttle," to more easily transport her elderly aunts and uncles living nearby who depended on her because they had no children of their own. The shuttle took on two more passengers in 2009 when Tanya made the difficult decision to move her parents, who had been…
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