Practically invisible single parent caregivers head 75 percent of the households where there is a critically ill child. These are the families aided by the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation, those with few emotional or financial resources and little to no support.
We at the Foundation were delighted to see that on October 29, 2010, President Barack Obama recognized caregivers and issued a proclamation stating that caregivers (including parents to terminally-ill children) need to be recognized and relieved of all their domestic burdens this November, National Family Caregivers Month. This proclamation comes at a time when family caregivers are providing over 80 percent of all long term care in America with services valued at an estimated $375 billion annually in caregiving for their loved ones.
The Obama Proclamation states, "During National Family Caregivers Month, we honor the millions of Americans who give endlessly of themselves to provide for the health and well-being of a beloved family member. Through their countless hours of service to their families and communities, they are a shining example of our Nation's great capacity to care for each other."
Caregivers of catastrophically ill children -- parents and close relatives -- are not often recognized for the care and comfort they provide. The recent healthcare cuts in hospitals and clinics across the country, and the drastic cuts in California alone, had a dramatic effect on safety net programs that provide relief to these caregivers. As a result, millions of children and their primarily single parent caregivers are facing even greater problems affording the support they need. It is not surprising that their cries and urgent requests for monetary assistance have quadrupled to the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation.
Our team at the Andre River of Life Foundation urges you to recognize the heroes who many children turn to for comfort and protection when trying to be little heroes themselves, braving illness. You can find out more about how to support these caregivers by checking out our myHERO campaign during the month of November.
Follow Valerie Sobel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asriveroflife