April Message from Greg Johnson and Cynthia Burke

Dear Friends, Fellow Family Caregivers and Readers,

Over the decade plus that I have served as the Creator/Director of EmblemHealth’s Care for the Family Caregiver initiative, I have always been struck by two facts:

1.  Family caregiving does not discriminate – it crosses all boundaries and affects all.

2.  Most of the most successful family caregiving programs come from personal involvement. In other words, seeing a need and finding a way of addressing it.

Friends In Deed is one of these successful programs; personally and professionally, I am deeply indebted to this source of love, support and incredible caring. Please read on and learn more about Friends In Deed.

In September of 1991, Mike Nichols and Cynthia (Cy) O’Neal founded Friends In Deed out of concern over the AIDS crisis. Because so many individuals were frightened, ill and dying – many of them very alone – they decided it might be a good idea if there was a place to gather where talking about these issues would offer some relief. It turned out to be a very good idea – a very big caregiving gesture. Twenty-three years later, Friends In Deed is the crisis center for people with life-threatening physical illness, people with caregiving issues and people who need help with grief and bereavement. And all services are still offered free of charge.

We live in an area of the country where there is so much support for all kinds of issues but none as unique as Friends In Deed, who believes that the quality of your life is not determined by the circumstances – you can have cancer and still have a happy moment, a good day or a plan.  We often cannot change the circumstances, but we can change how we hold them, what we think they mean and how we view ourselves in these situations.

If we are caregiving, we have a whole range of possibilities available to us that can enrich our experience and even allow us to flourish, rather than succumb to despair and negativity.

If we are grieving, we find solace in the normalization of every feeling we have.

Though we deal with serious problems at Friends In Deed, the work can be joyful. Please join us!