"Self-care is NOT selfish. It is FUEL for the selfless."
~ Carly Laabs
I'm Carly Laabs
Founder of The Parachute Project™
This is My Story
More than fifteen years ago, my daughter, Our Girl, was diagnosed with an incurable and chronic form of brain cancer. During the first seven years after diagnosis, the cancer recurred six times. Each relapse was like receiving a new diagnosis where the tumor was more resistant and there were fewer treatment options to choose from. During those years, Our Girl underwent multiple brain surgeries, multiple chemotherapy protocols, a clinical trial, and radiation just to get the tumor under control.
In addition to the cancer, Our Girl also struggled with multiple complex care needs as a direct result of her condition and the treatments used to fight it. She endured more than a decade of physical, occupational, and equine therapies to overcome the damage caused by the cancer and to achieve a higher quality of life.
Today, while not gone, the tumor is stable. Her impressive work ethic has allowed her to overcome most of her disabilities to a degree that the average person would never guess her extensive medical history. Yet, we continue to manage the fallout of her condition on a daily basis, and the possibility of the cancer “waking up” is always in the back of our mind.
I know first hand what it means to live day to day, year after year, under the weight of my child’s critical illness, disabilities and special needs. As my daughter’s condition has stabilized, I have felt called to use this experience to support other parents who are also carrying the weight of their own child’s complex care needs.
Several years ago, I began answering this call by serving as a volunteer in my community. I have filled leadership roles within my local MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) Group, where I served as Mentor Mom, encouraging young moms through the demanding pre-school years. I have also served on the board of directors of “Families of Children with Cancer, Inc.", a social support group serving families who have had a child diagnosed with cancer living in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I work closely with newly diagnosed families, helping them find the support and resources they need for both their child and family.
Through these volunteer experiences, I discovered a passion for helping other parents find the resources they need to better carry the weight of their caregiving role. This desire has lead me to create The Parachute Project™️ and to found theparachuteproject.com, as a self-care resource for parent caregivers. My hope for you is that, here, you will find the encouragement, tools, and resources you need to actively and intentionally practice self-care in your everyday life. I will guide you through every step!
100 Self-Care Activities for Caregivers
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