Tina Saratsiotis, has been a caregiver her whole adult life. While away in grad school in Texas, her battle with schizophrenic affective disorder became so prominent she had to leave school and go home where she’s spend the next 27 years caring for her father until his passing about 5 years ago in his mid 90’s (he had dementia, cardiovascular disease and other issues; Tina provided ALL of his care, toileting him, etc, while dealing with her own illness; her efforts with her father, which if paid would have been in excess of $1 million, encouraged Tina to do volunteer work for the Alzheimer’s Association), and now continues to care for her 87 year old mother who is also dealing with dementia issues (whether Alzheimer’s onset or vascular dementia, am unsure).
Tina who has been called “the miracle girl” due to her level of recovery and functionality by her therapist, now has a part-time job (she works as Program Manager for the Murphy Initiative for Justice and Peace; Tina provides assistance in terms of writing, grants, website work, etc., for Sisters of Mercy who are combating issues like human trafficking, etc; this job is the first job she’s held since she was in college as her untreated, then incorrectly treated illness made it impossible for her to work), but continues to care for her Mom and coordinate care during the daily with a network of caregivers she found on her own. Tina has courage and strength Tina to fight her own illness while caring for her two parents, totally on her own, having to essentially forfeit her youth for the care of her family and due to the pains of her own disease. She does interviews to raise awareness re: caregiving, as well as mental illness (note links); Tina was recently interviewed about living with mental illness by SZ (Schizophrenia) Magazine and continues to be one of the bravest woman who continues to care for those around her, keeping a positive attitude, always smiling, despite so many challenges.
Visit Tina Saratsiotis for more information.