Brenda Taylor’s journey with a husband and daughter managing chronic kidney disease (CKD) has lent her the experience to be a subject matter expert in caregiving. She’s worked in hospital administration over twenty years. Her experience in aging and healthcare resources have given her the knowledge and expertise to navigate through what can become a complex and frustrating process. She knows how to find the right answers and resources needed for family members and loved ones supporting patients with a chronic illness. Brenda is a Certified Senior Advisor, Caregiving Consultant Educator and Facilitator. She merges her experience. With over twenty years in educational training and patient support services related to a chronic illness, Brenda also serves a the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for QSource Network 10 as well as The Learning & Action Network (LAN) for The National Coordinating Center (NCC). She has facilitated support groups for caregivers at the University of Chicago as well as in online communities.
Brenda Vasser-Taylor knows what it feels like to be “in the trenches.” She spent seven years caring for both her husband and daughter with a chronic illness with no supports in place for herself. She often felt stressed, and had no outlet to recharge from the demands of work and running a household. She promised herself and her husband that one day, if she had the opportunity, she would devote her time to help caregivers supporting loved ones with a chronic illness.
Brenda’s husband, Eddie, was diagnosed with a chronic illness (end stage renal disease) when they had only been married a year. The doctors told the couple if they wanted kids, they did not have much time. Their daughter, Quin, was born one year later.
It was when Quin turned 20 years old and she started experiencing symptoms, they learned she too had the same chronic kidney disease. She inherited Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and faced dialysis and needing a transplant. During this same time, Eddie’s transplant failed, and both father and daughter were on dialysis.
Brenda says, “They did not have a manual for the caregivers for someone with a chronic illness.” Brenda desperately looked for resources and help. She contributes her faith to playing a huge role in her longevity in caring for her loved ones. Christians sometimes wonder, “How can their faith make a difference in their everyday caring?” She confirms that Christian caregiving is a way of life. She added that learning basic caregiving skills was essential for supporting herself through her journey. Learning how her faith made a difference in practicing true servanthood, using the tools of her faith to touch the deepest spiritual concerns of others, provided much needed perspective.
After almost six years on dialysis, Quin received a Kidney transplant. One month later, Eddie passed away and Brenda founded CaregiverRRockstars, the non-profit that she and her husband had talked about many times to support caregivers.
Christian Care Partners are people who provide support and serve others diagnosed with a chronic illness by practicing Christian principles and values during their caring journey.
For more information on our Care Partner Support Ministry, or to contact Brenda Vasser-Taylor, please visit the CaregiversRRockstars website at www.esrdrockstars.com.