Griswold Home Care offers a $1,000 annual scholarship to a qualified student pursuing a bachelor’s, associate’s, graduate, or professional degree at an accredited college or university. Winners will usually have at least a 3.75 GPA, and have experience in caregiving. We would like to congratulate Sarah Gamblin as 2019’s Griswold Home Care Annual Scholarship winner!
While obtaining her master’s degree in counseling, Sarah was having a lot of physical health issues. During the course of her treatment, she remained in school and maintained full-time employment. She had a great deal of help from friends and family to make this possible. Sarah underwent surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, which impacted her ability to drive, and she had to rely on others to help get her to where she needed to be. She accepted the chance to take delayed grades on my assignments for a semester. Sarah’s illness forced her to allow herself to rely on others who care about her to step in and provide care that she needed. She did have to take Mondays off of work for chemotherapy and Fridays off for brachytherapy, but she was able to continue working the rest of the time. She finished her master’s degree despite all of the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. While things can still be difficult and her life has changed due to the physical effects of cancer treatment, Sarah is proud to say that she was able to finish her master’s degree. She did so with a nearly perfect grade point average despite major challenges and setbacks. Sarah is proud that she is continuing her education so that she might reach her goal of a Ph.D. Her field of Counselor Education and Supervision allows her to teach others how to provide care for others and how to provide care for those who are caring for loved ones.
Because she has the experience of cancer treatment and survivorship, Sarah’s research is focused on improving the lives of cancer patients. She is specifically interested in patients who have or have had gynecological cancers and aims to improve their quality of life by providing empirical evidence as to what the needs of this population are. Sarah hopes to educate physicians and other healthcare providers so that they can provide better treatment for their patients. She hopes to provide an outlet for the patients to be able to express their needs in a safe and welcoming environment. Individuals who have had these types of cancers often suffer from a variety of physical ailments as well as emotional symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Because of the nature of these cancers, some patients might be hesitant to provide accurate information to their medical team, and the medical team might not understand the best ways to gather the information that is needed. One treatment, in particular, can be traumatic for patients and it is understudied. Sarah would like to provide information on this so that other cancer survivors can have a more holistic treatment approach that might improve their quality of life and emotional well-being.
Sarah isn’t the only one in her family to have dealt with cancer. Caring for her mother-in-law when she had cancer provided Sarah with firsthand information about what that struggle was like, which helped her when she went through cancer treatment herself. “Knowing that I can help someone else’s life be a little better is the ultimate reward,” Sarah says. “Caring for others has provided me with a sense of strength from being able to be there for others when they needed it.”
Sarah also had this advice to share with caregivers: “I believe that remembering to care for oneself is a great challenge to providing care for others. The individual who is providing support needs their own network of support to be able to continue to provide care for their loved ones. It can also be difficult to find others who have gone through similar experiences. Ensure that you have your own support network and you are able to balance taking care of yourself with your loved one. It is okay to cry, and it is okay to have feelings that might be viewed as negative. Make sure to work through those so you can be an effective caregiver.”