Congratulations to Stephanie Jenkins, the winner of AARP’s Caregiver Contest. She was nominated by her brother, Eric.
Stephanie Jenkins is my sister and a “caregiver” who needs a well-deserved break. A single mother of three, Stephanie had become established in the Atlanta area for four years. Concerned with our mother’s health, Stephanie pulled her three school age children out of their Douglasville School in July 2010 to relocate back to Hyattsville, MD. She was set out to not only help our mother (who had been our father’s caregiver for the past 8 years) during her sickness, but to also take over as “caregiver” for our father who has multiple sclerosis. She was able to work,but as our mother’s health declined and with the demands of caring for our father, she opted to stay home and care for our parents. After numerous doctors’ visits and hospital stays, our mother was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, which had already spread to her liver, spine, breast and brain. The doctor gave our mother three months to live, yet she surpassed that. Through aggressive chemo treatments and radiation, Stephanie found the strength to do it all. Not only was she taking care of our terminally ill mother (until her death in April 2012), but also our father and her three young children…by herself. Still, her time is in high demand with our father and her children along with taking care of home. Stephanie has made MANY sacrifices over the years. She is very much in need of a well-deserved break.