Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver has partnered with Norwegian Cruise Line and Fisher House Foundation to create a special series, Heroes Caring for Heroes, to highlight our brothers and sisters in care, active duty and veterans, from the US, UK, and Canada.
Throughout the month, podcast guests will courageously share their caregiving journeys for both the seen and unseen scars of military life and war. Please join us to honor those who serve and to learn about the resources available to these amazing heroes.
Caregivers for son Jason, who was severely injured in an IED blast in Baghdad, Iraq on December 11, 2005. Jason suffered a traumatic brain injury, 2nd and 3rd degree burns to 60% of his body, and multiple leg fractures leading to a lower leg amputation.
Both worked at full time jobs (Mike, a Systems Engineer and Pam, a Payroll Manager) while caring for Jason until their move from MD to VA in 2016. Following the move to VA, Mike and Pam have continued their caregiver roles in addition to advocating for continued therapies.
Never would Kasey have thought the “third wheel” on her date would end up being the one! It didn’t take long for Kasey, a college student, and Stephen, an active-duty service member, to realize they were meant to be, going on to marry shortly thereafter. Kasey’s caregiving story began while she was pregnant with their first child.
She received a call learning that Stephen, who was out of the country on a tour of duty, was involved in an accident that would ultimately result in him being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. Stephen would continue to serve for more years prior to his exit but the damage was done. This young family of four would move from Oklahoma to rural Southwest Virginia where she continues as a loving wife and devoted caregiver to her husband and children.
Journalist, News Anchor with MSNBC. Lui has also directed two Academy Award qualified films, Sky Blossom in 2020, and Unconditional in 2023, which was screened at the White House by First Lady Jill Biden.
Richard will discuss his caregiver story, one of supporting his father Stephen Lui, a social worker and pastor, who battled Alzheimer's for eight years. Crossing the country from east coast to west almost weekly, Richard not only served as caregiver to his father but also supported his mother and sister as they walked this journey, determined to figure out “the right thing” for the entire family.
Amy’s caregiver story includes husband Luke Bushatz, who struggles with PTSD and a traumatic brain injury from his deployment in Afghanistan. At home, his young sons and wife share in his struggles and work to understand. Amy and her family participated in the documentary Unconditional (directed by Richard Lui) which details the role of the family caregiver in today’s world.
Amy is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News and the founder of the Mat-Su Sentinel, a start-up newsroom envisioned as a nonprofit covering the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Alaska. She is the host and producer of the Humans Outside podcast.
Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow, wife, mother, and caregiver. Jessica became a caregiver in January 2011 when her husband stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan. Her husband lost both of his legs above the knee and has a list of other medical issues. He medically retired from the Army and Jessica is his registered caregiver in the VA Caregiver Program.
Jessica has advocated for military and veteran caregivers since joining their ranks in 2011. She has worked with various nonprofits and government entities to raise the voice of military caregivers. She has appeared on The Today Show and The Kelly Clarkson Show. Jessica and her family participated in the documentary Sky Blossom (directed by Richard Lui) which details the role of the family caregiver in today’s world.