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117 Iris Waichler

Stories that Empower

Release Date: 12/09/2019

147 Christine Ristaino show art 147 Christine Ristaino

Stories that Empower

Christine was molested by a family member. She was also attacked and beaten up by a stranger. Christine never talked about these things, as she felt shame and experienced low self esteem. She didn't trust her own voice. Then, Christine's place in the world shifted. Getting her story out there really made the difference. Today, Christine feels empowered.

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146 Rebecca Duvall Scott show art 146 Rebecca Duvall Scott

Stories that Empower

Rebecca's youngest child was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. She didn't want others to struggle, as she did. So, Rebecca decided to write a book. She feels that the experience saved her family.

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145 Carolyn Karcher show art 145 Carolyn Karcher

Stories that Empower

Carolyn came of age during the Vietnam war. She had wrestled with and had doubts about things that she had been taught. Carolyn began a journey and career to answer the question "how did we get here". She strives to help change others' lives and perspectives, just as hers were changed

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144 Patrick Schwardtfeger show art 144 Patrick Schwardtfeger

Stories that Empower

Patrick always wanted to be a speaker, even as a child. Initially in his speaking career, he was struggling and hadn't turned the corner yet. Patrick thought he had made it, when he was asked to give a TED talk. Unfortunately, his TED talk did not air, because the video files were corrupted. Patrick could have given up, but chose not to. He decided to provide value, content and a service to others.

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143 Alexis Marie Chute show art 143 Alexis Marie Chute

Stories that Empower

Losing her baby as a newborn really shook Alexis. She pulled away from her art initially. After some time, Alexis made peace with it. She realized that we can't control all the things in our lives. Alexis feels there is a mystery to the human experience that we should submit to. Her visual art, a safe and healing place, helps her cope with her depression.

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142 Nancy L. Pressly show art 142 Nancy L. Pressly

Stories that Empower

Nancy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was given a 50-50 chance to survive. Nancy knew she still had a whole life to live. She realized that she has the ability to control her circumstances. Nancy sought all of the information that was available. She created 'guide posts', when there were none.

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141 Marianne Ingheim show art 141 Marianne Ingheim

Stories that Empower

When Marianne was diagnosed with breast cancer, she realized that she hadn't been living the life that she was meant to live. She wanted to change. Marianne left her husband of 10 years. He committed suicide. She struggled with the guilt. Marianne went on a journey of self compassion, where she learned to be kind to herself.

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140 Colleen Haggerty show art 140 Colleen Haggerty

Stories that Empower

Colleen shares some powerful observations during the current Covid-19 stay at home order. She feels that we're on a threshold of the past and future, what she calls a "liminal space". It's an uncertain and uncomfortable time for some. Somehow, Colleen is able to bring some clarity to the current situation.

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139 Deborah Burns show art 139 Deborah Burns

Stories that Empower

Deborah felt compelled to write about her unconventional, charismatic, yet narcissistic mother, more than 20 years after her death. This set her on a creative journey that liberated her from the things that she held as true but were not. The book became an unraveling of the myth with her mother. Today, Deborah feels that her relationship with her mother has made her resilient.

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138 Kathryn Taylor show art 138 Kathryn Taylor

Stories that Empower

Kathryn shares her author journey. When she was as a large conference, she initially began doubting herself and whether she belonged. Fortunately, Kathryn's supportive community reminded her that she belonged there as much as anyone else.

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When Iris' friend was dying of a brain tumor, a group of friends became the caregivers. She was impressed by her friend's courage of facing death. Iris helped her friend's brother cope with the transition, to let go, to say goodbye and enabled them to bond. She felt privileged. Iris shares the following nuggets of life wisdom for caregivers:
- strive not to judge
- be open to listen
- be there for them
- accept circumstances that we are given
- family is a subjective word
- recognize that you may be feeling that you are losing the person that you once knew
- get support for yourself as a caregiver
- identify who will be the advocate

Iris Waichler has been a well known patient advocate and licensed clinical social worker for the last 35 years. She began her career working with geriatric patients who experienced catastrophic illness and counseled them and their families about adapting to these medical problems. She helped them understand their medical condition and counseled them about how to cope with the disease and its impact on their lives.

She continued to work on a rehabilitation unit in a large Chicago teaching hospital with patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries, strokes, cancer, amputations, burns, and neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease. Ms. Waichler also covered the emergency room for 13 years seeing patients of all ages with a variety of medical problems. In addition she worked with kids who had been victims of child abuse.

Her long term hospital work gave her insights into how overwhelming it was for patients and families who suddenly found themselves in a hospital setting feeling helpless and alone. This prompted her to write her first book, Patient Power: How to Have a Say in Your Hospital Stay. She understood that if people knew what questions to ask and where to go for support, it would help empower them and assist them in coping with their medical conditions and the resulting life changes.

She used these insights to supervise social work students, and teach medical students, interns, residents, and nurses about patient rights, ethics, and to help them become more empathetic and effective in their day to day patient and family care.

Ms. Waichler found herself in the role of a patient when she battled infertility for many years. The feelings of loss and helplessness she personally experienced were profound. She promised herself if she was successful in having a child she would do everything she could to help other people fighting infertility.

She authored a second award winning book, Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster: A Guide to Educate and Inspire. This book won 2 best book of the year awards. The response was so great she began doing individual and group counseling with people who had infertility. She volunteered for RESOLVE, a national infertility group, and went on to do a series of radio interviews, magazine articles, workshops, and speeches designed to inform and support men and women with infertility.

In writing her new book, Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging, Ms. Waichler has come full circle. Her experience in caring for her beloved father, who died at age 97, triggered her passion in reaching out to others who suddenly find themselves in a caregiver role and are uncertain about what to do or where to go for help. In this book she shares her father’s inspiring story and her personal and professional experience in assuming the challenges that come with being a caregiver for an aging loved one.

Iris has been doing freelance writing for the last 15 years. The focus of her work has been on health related topics and assisting her readers gain knowledge that helps them feel less alone and empowers them in significant new ways.

Ms. Waichler lives in Chicago with her husband, Steve, and her daughter, Grace. She loves to travel whenever she can and to spend time with friends and family.

http://iriswaichler.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RoleReversal1/

https://twitter.com/IrisWaichler

https://www.linkedin.com/in/iwaichler

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