Each person’s caregiving journey is unique but there is always a common thread: the willingness, patience and dedication that surrounds their commitment to care. Please join us as we celebrate this year’s exceptional winners.
Tammie Dales, National Winner, Family Caregiver, Western Region
Tammie is a paramedic in small-town Alberta. Her husband, Geoff, also a paramedic and her work partner for many years, was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. Tammie was thrust into a world where Geoff needed a ventilator, a feeding tube and 24-hour care. Her professional training helped her have the confidence to respond. Geoff’s quality of life, keeping him at home and maintaining his dignity meant everything to Tammie. According to her nominator, she was “the rock on this team.” When Geoff expressed a wish to visit Florida last winter, she agreed to undertake the risky trip. She faced challenging weather and a number of technical complications, but her desire to make it the best trip for Geoff gave her the will power to continue. In addition to facing the ever-changing new realities associated with Geoff’s illness before his passing in May 2014, Tammie is responsible for her 91 year-old father’s day-to-day care and still finds time to babysit her grandchildren.
Chris Everdell, Professional Caregiver, Central Region
Chris is an outstanding occupational therapist and a lifelong learner who has served the Kingston community and its surrounding area for the past 26 years. She provides services to more than 40 children, adolescents and adults in her newly renovated clinic, Make Way For Me! In addition, one of Chris’ finest attributes is her commitment to mentoring and teaching others. She is a strong support for parents and has provided placements for students who want to volunteer, including those attending the Queen’s University School of Rehabilitation Therapy. This past summer, Chris voluntarily undertook the task of creating and managing a skills development program where she extensively trained and supervised three occupational therapist assistants so that they could provide effective and inexpensive therapy for many children. According to her nominator, Chris’ countless volunteer hours of scheduling, training staff, supervising therapy sessions and providing support to clients, their families and her employees demonstrates her overwhelming commitment to the values and attributes of a dedicated and inspiring caregiver.
Salt of the Earth
Dave and Sue Lovell, One Wish Award Winners
Dave and Sue are dedicating their lives to caring for Patrick and Breeze, two 12-year-old First Nations children with disabilities. Dave is an OPP constable and Sue previously owned a clothing store, which she sold to care for the kids. Since beginning their journey as parents, they have accompanied Patrick and Breeze through numerous surgeries and hospital stays in Canada and the United States. As Breeze’s health conditions have become more complex, Dave and Sue have risen to the occasion by taking intensive training and even moving from Kenora to Southern Ontario to access necessary services. In addition, the couple have been advocates for other children in similar situations in their local school district. While raising Patrick and Breeze in their home, they have worked hard to keep the kids connected to their native culture. This includes maintaining contact with their natural parents, visits to their reserves and participating in rituals of the First Nations. Dave and Sue will be using the $10,000 from the Canada Cares One Wish Award, sponsored by We Care, to purchase a lift to improve the accessibility of their new home.
Regional Award Winners
Carole Maretic, Family Caregiver
Bryan Gay, Professional Caregiver
Randy Villeneuve, Professional Caregiver
Donalda MacIsaac, Family Caregiver
Errol Gallant, Professional Caregiver
Melissa and Sue Lumley-Pfeil
Richard Migneault Sr., Family Caregiver
Marijo Cuerrier, Family Caregiver
Claude Bouffard, Family Caregiver
Sandra D’Alessandro, Professional Caregiver
Melissa and Sue Lumley-Pfeil
The follow finalists from across Canada received honourable mentions from our judgesProfessional Caregivers:
Tina Wiseman, Felix Djogbessi, Donna Kearl, Angela Worms, Brad Wallin, Petra Bourne, Ashley Thompson, Andrea KramerFamily Caregivers:
Barbara Aris, Jimmy MacDonald, Kim Sandager, Lorrie Schultz, Dorothy Dunlop, John W Smith, Henry Desorcy, John Simpson, Cathy Brady, Jennifer Miller, Shelley and John Sobkowich, Sandra Courtemanche, Kazumi Alsemgeest, Mitch Ramsay, Pat Winters, Katie Schulz, Betty Cornelius, Chris Smith.
The 2015 Canada Cares Caregiver Award Winners