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Never overlook the value of the caregiver

• Nov 20, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Tim Penning, a professor at Grand Valley State University and a longtime Tribune community columnist, shared on his blog a recent event in Grand Rapids where he was able to share his role as a caregiver.

“I have been at my wife's side for all of our nearly 24 years of marriage, and in particular during the last six-plus years as she has battled Stage 4 breast cancer, which spread to the brain,” he wrote. “She is doing reasonably well, and runs every day. So she said to me recently that people would probably not call me a ‘caregiver’ because she is not bed-ridden and helpless.”

However, Penning points out that there indeed is a lot of care that he offers — going with her to treatments, dealing with multiple side effects and for vital emotional support.

“We both decided it is important to tell our story with a sincere hope to educate and inspire others who may have cancer, another chronic illness, or know someone who does,” he says.

Cindy Penning's story was recently told in West Michigan Woman magazine, which features a breast cancer survivor or a medical professional who works with breast cancer patients. 

The magazine also hosts an annual event during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which was last month. At the "Wine and Wig" fundraiser in Grand Rapids, Tim Penning was the featured speaker. On his blog post, he shares his speech.

Read the complete blog post and speech: “A few words for care givers.”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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