Karen's Personal Journey
Karen Twichell learned the hard way that resources and support for caregivers are sadly lacking. A professional woman with a management position in the aerospace industry, Twichell had little in the way of preparation for the job of caregiving.
But time after time over the past thirty years, as one
family member after another was stricken with different
cancers, she answered the call and took up the mantle of
Her mother, father, brother and mother-in-law eventually
succumbed to their illnesses. Two sisters and
her husband are cancer survivors. Managing the doctor
visits, the medications, the physical, emotional, and
spiritual strain of day-to-day care for her family
members, might seem overwhelming by ordinary standards.
But Karen Twichell is extraordinary. While facing the
challenges and pain of her experiences, she learned that
millions of Americans were in the same boat. "There's
not too much help out there for the caregiver," she
said. In response to the need, she wrote
A Caregiver's Journey
--- Finding Your Way, which
received the 2001 Writer's Digest National Book Award
Certificate of Merit.
Like her book, her presentations are sensitive, yet practical guidance for people facing the unnerving challenge of caring for an ill or elderly loved one. The bottom line is this: you have to take care of yourself, too. The analogy she often shares with audiences is that of a flight attendant telling passengers that, in an emergency, they should put on their own oxygen mask before trying to help someone else.
Karen's presentations are like that oxygen mask: they make it possible to take care of others successfully.
recently earned the prestigious designation of
Toastmaster Accredited Speaker. It is
the highest earned designation from Toastmasters
International for outstanding professional
platform speaking, held by only 60 members from
the current 260,000 membership in 113 countries.
Here is Karen
with fellow Accredited Speaker, Rochelle Rice.
Karen has also been awarded
the WomanSage Family Matters Award.
"WomanSage Family Matters Awards are given to everyday
midlife women who make significant contributions to
improving the quality of life for families in Orange
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