May 26, 2017 Healthy Living

Finding Comfort Amid Heartache

When Susan LeClair of Altamont, New York, found herself in the role of primary caregiver for her husband, Thomas, she quickly became overwhelmed. In 2012, Thomas was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a disease that affects the GI tract rather than the lungs. After Thomas underwent an extensive abdominal surgery to treat the cancer, he eventually recovered and went on to live independently.

Feeling like she could use support during this difficult time, Susan turned to the CDPHP case management department. In the four years since his diagnosis, Thomas and Susan worked with registered nurse case manager, Grace Thedinga. “I had a number of questions and sought advice on and off from Grace,” said Susan. “She is thorough, knowledgeable, and caring. It is very difficult to be a caregiver, and sometimes I thought I would lose it with all of the medical and insurance details that had to be tended to. Grace always helped me sort things out.” In addition to serving as an advocate, Grace also helped connect Susan and Thomas with in-network services and doctors to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.

In 2016, complications arose as a result of prior medical treatments, and another surgery was not an option for Thomas. Sadly, he passed away in March 2017. Still, Susan credits Grace and the case management services she received with helping her through some extremely difficult times. She added, “Grace has been my rock throughout this journey, and I don’t know what I would have done without her compassion and expertise.”

CDPHP case managers are available to talk with you about your individual needs. Please call toll-free 1-888-94-CDPHP (23747).

Natalia Burkart
About the Author

Natalia joined CDPHP in 2015 as a communications writer/editor and currently serves as director, communications strategy. Born and raised in the Capital Region, Natalia earned a BS in marketing and management from Siena College and an MBA from Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University). A self-professed news junkie and lover of iced coffee, Natalia currently resides in North Greenbush with her husband and two kids.

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