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When Dad is the Primary Caregiver

For many, Father’s Day will serve up a typical buffet of bad ties, homemade photo mugs, new putters and old stand-bys such as travel kits and DVDs. There may be BBQs and time off from yard chores. A day for Dad to spend it anyway he wishes. For other Dads, gifts and activities are sprinkled throughout a day that is spent in much of the same way as any other: helping their family member bathe, dress and eat, administering medications, working through a session of PT exercises, checking and rechecking ventilator tubes and attending to the many other minute details that accompany the role of caring for a loved one with a chronic illness or disability.

Brian Denger is the proud father of three who lives in Maine. He is no stranger to the challenges presented by chronic illness: His wife, Alice, lives with Chrohn’s Disease, his daughter Rachel has Type-1 Diabetes and his sons, Matthew and Patrick, both have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.