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Lewes, Delaware
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June 19, 1998     Cape Gazette
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June 19, 1998

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CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, June 19 - June 25, 1998 - 35 The value of a loving caregiver is its humanism By Sean C. Venable A few years ago, I found myself leaning over the guardrail of my bed at the district's George Wash- ington University Hospital, look- ing at the guy in the bed next to me sleeping and groaning. We were both in the room for the same reason - pneumonia - only he was on his seventh episode; I was having my first. He was so very thin and fragile looking; he was obviously in a lot of pain. I remember remarking to myself, "Is this what I have to look forward to down the road?" Those were the days before pro- phylactic medications became popular, and a person was vulner-. able to one occurrence of pneu- monia after the other, each taking its toll on lung tissue and vitality. What was remarkable about this seemingly dark side of the disease was this guy's significant other. Day after day "Dan" came to see his other half, flowers in hand. He would come before he went to work, and he came back after work and stayed until closing. On HIV/MDS support group meets weekly P.L.Active provides weekly support groups, for people living with HIV/AIDS, at St. Peter's ChLtrch in Lewes. Groups meet on Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Fridays at 1 p.m. Those interested in attend- ing should call ahead, 644-4791. Mammography van in Lewes July 28 Mammography of Delaware will have its mobile van at Lewes Senior Center from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 28. To make an appointment, call 800- 654-0606. Lewes P.L.Active offers support for heterosexuals P.L.Active, an AIDS support organization, will soon be offer- ing a support group for heterosex- uals with HIV/AIDS. The nine- Buddy Services inft)n-nmtion EDGE CARE HOME HEALTH CARE Watching your sodium? Read food labels and avoid products that list sodium chloride as one of the first three items. High sodium foods include cheese, ham, bacon, corned beef and luncheon meats. Try flavor- ing foods with herbs and spices rather than salt. Submitted by the YMCA of Rehoboth Beach For more information, call 227-8018 weekends, he was there all day and evening, only leaving to eat or do an errand. That year it was a late Easter, and Dan brought his significant other an Easter basket loaded with goodies. I was astonished that he brought me one, too. He must have sensed how alone I felt. I was so pleased that Dan had included me in his family. This loving caregiver in my room and his significant other are both dead now. But they live on in my head for obvious reasons. This story illustrates, at least in my mind, what is meant by the "family of man," of which we are all a part. Sadly, the seemingly loving caregiving of our fellows - people we do not know but with whom we are kin - seems, for the most part, to have faded from our society's landscape. Granted, people are very busy these days. Granted, people do have their own agendas - political and otherwise. Granted, people are stretched and stressed to the point of frustration and anger. week group will be facilitated by a professional woman. The meet- ings will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday evenings, at St. Peter's Church in Lewes. For more information, call 644-4791. First State BMX raises $2,000 for Leukemia One hundred thirty-one bicycle motocross riders from five states raised $2,103.45 for the Leukemia Society of America, June 6, at First State BMX in Milton. The riders ranged in age from 4 to 48. They all gave up their trophies and raised pledges as part of a nation- wide effort to raise funds for the Leukemia Society, through the American Bicycle Association. First State BMX is located at Ea- gle's Nest Family Campground, routes 1 and 16, east of Milton. Regular weekly races are held on Thursday and Saturday nights; registration is at 6 p.m. For more information, call 684-8798. PO Box 166, Lewes, DE 19958; 644-4791 (Full-range services, including traditional, long term and spe- cialized; testing buddy for the undiagnosed.) KENT COUNTY: None available. NEW CASTLE COUNTY: Daughtry House Program, 1502 W. 13th, Wilmington, DE 19806; 302-654-5214, Ext. 125 Christiana Care Visitation, PO Box 1668, Wilmington, DE 19899, 302-428-2202 But have we become so jaded about people with HIV/AIDS, or people with any catastrophic ill- ness, that we can't seem to find a moment to even say a kind word? I hope not. As we Delawareans are con- fronted with an imminent second wave of AIDS, isn't this the time to stop and think about what we can do to help? What can we do over and above throwing money at the problem? As you answer these questions for yourself, please keep the fol- lowing in mind: Remember what an AIDS pa- tient once said: "...if you know of someone in your life who has AIDS, or you suspect that they do, put aside your dislikes, prejudices, whatevers, and go to their side and take their arm. A caring touch and a kind word goes a long way." One never knows when one will be in the same situation: What will you do? More information about AIDS resources are as follows: Volunteering - Kent and Sussex counties, State Office of Volunteerism, 800-815- LINK or 302-739-4457. Counseling - Beebe Medical Center, Lewes: 302-645-3560 Delaware Home Care Inc., Wilmington: 302-762-4262 Visiting Nurses, statewide: 888- 862-0001 Editor's Note." Sean Venable is an administrator at P.L.Active, an AIDS support organization. DAVID AUGUST, D.O. 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