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Earlier this year, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York launched our first-ever contest to celebrate caregivers. Thanks to the 38 entries and 4,034 total votes we received, we can officially say that Celebrating Caregivers was a phenomenal success! Here's how the contest worked: Each entry consisted of an essay of 250 words or less and a photo of the caregiver being honored. Contestants uploaded their entries to contest.vnsny.org. Once all of the entries had been submitted, site visitors were invited to vote for their favorite stories. The three most popular stories were awarded our top prizes: an Apple iPad (first place), an Apple iPod nano (second place) and an Apple iPod shuffle (third place).
All of the entries we received helped us achieve our goal of celebrating the hard work and sacrifice of caregivers like you, but there could only be three winners. And they were: Elizabeth Biondi (1,077 votes), Jeannie Kriftcher (1,036 votes) and Matt Jourdian (621 votes). In addition to the touching tributes they submitted, each one of the winners also chose to forward their prize to the caregiver about whom he or she wrote.
Read below for short excerpts from each of the winning entries:
Inspirational Mom, Elizabeth Biondi
Rachel Burke and I met when we were pregnant with our first children. Initially told that he would be fine, Rachel's son, Lucien, developed an immune dificiency and was constantly sick. Caring for Lucien, including contacting specialists and fighting with insurance companies has become a full-time job. Rachel is an amazing mother, and in spite of everything, remains a dedicated friend with a wicked sense of humor. Even though she watches her children struggle, she celebrates my daughter's accomplishments without bitterness. She is the most selfless and powerful woman I know.
A Part of the Family, Jeannie Kriftcher
On January 20, 2010, we got news that no family would want to hear. My dad, a husband, father-in-law, friend and teacher, had a brain tumor. After a hospital stay, surgery and treatment, we knew he would require lots of attention and assistance, even for the simplest of activities. We found Danny, a.k.a, "Money". Although they are from different walks of life, Dad and Danny are like two peas in a pod. Danny is a caregiver who has taken care of our dad for us and at the same time has maintained the family's ability to keep things as normal as possible during this very difficult time. No matter what the future brings, Danny will be in our hearts and prayers forever. Thank you, Money. We love you!
Keeping a Family Together, Matt Jourdian
My friend Ken Kelleher care for his father, aunt and brother. His father moved in with him in 2009; Ken helps him manage his diabetes. Ken's aunt recently broke her hip, and even though she lives in an assisted living facility, Ken makes sure that she has everything she needs. He's also the legal guardian of his younger brother, who is mentally and emotionally disabled. On top of keeping everyone healthy and financially stable, Ken sees his main role as a caregiver as "making sure we stay a family, and none of us ever feels alone." Ken really understands what it means to be a caregiver and deserves recognition for all of his hard work and outstanding attitude.
Want to see more stories like these? Let us know what topics you'd like to see covered in Caring Delivered! You can send any and all feedback to email@example.com.
To find out how VNSNY can help you care for your family member, please call 1-800-675-0391.