The Essentially You Journey
The Essentially You journey began 25 years ago when my mother was diagnosed with an early onset neurological disease. She was 59 years of age at the time.The progressive and degenerative nature of the disease had a devastating impact first and foremost on my mother, but was an equally traumatic experience for my father and our family. So much so, that 3 years following my mother's diagnosis, my father suffered a series of debilitating strokes causing significant left sided hemiparesis and subsequent hemiplegia. A short time after the third stroke my father died.
My mother continued to endure the disease for a further 7 years until November 1997, when at the age of 69, she died peacefully with her head cradled in my arms. It was at this point, that I made the commitment in memory of my late parents, that Essentially You would one day become a reality.
Needless to say, my life has been indelibly touched by the experience of my parents, and the importance of wearing several hats simultaneously (loving daughter, advocate, health care navigator and rehabilitation coordinator). As such, pursuing a career in social work became by quest. Since qualifying in 1993 I have committed my professional career to supporting individuals and families within the health care field of clinical social work for the past 19 years.
My journey has been heartbreaking at times, uplifting and inspiring. However, most of all, I have learned what matters most is the essential voice of individuals and families that need to be heard, hence, the beginning of Essentially You.