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Walking through the fire of complete helplessness was news to me

To The Daily Sun,

Never in my wildest nightmares would I have expected a summer evening at a friend's barbecue to hustle me off to LRGH and Genesis Rehab for 16 days. Such would be my misfortune through a freak accident.

The good news is that in time I will recover. The bad news is that I discovered way too soon what awaits me should I live a long life and be unable to take care of myself. For 25 years I sold health insurance, including disability and long-term care — just in case my clients would suffer a disruption in their wonderful life as I did. The 'Greatest Generation' holds a different perspective on aging than we "Boomers." Up close and personal, I watched my parents manage their final months in a nursing home. Their daughter wouldn't handle her setback with nearly the quiet aplomb of her folks. Selling insurance for the "what-if's" of life is one thing; walking through the fire of complete helplessness is another.

But, there is more good news to share. Help is just around the corner and right here in our beautiful city. While I'd heard of Laconia Clinic's Doctor Miller for years, I'd never met him. He was, and is, my hero — not just with his skill as a surgeon but with his gentle bedside manner when you need it the most. The nursing staff on South 3 are amazing. They pay attention and you feel like you matter as an individual. Genesis Rehab Center is integral as the bridge for a successful home reintroduction. But, who wants to go there? Over the near two weeks I spent in their care, so many outstanding nurses, aides, PT/OT therapists watched over me. I would love to name them one by one; but I will err on the side of caution in the event I might miss one of them. As stunned as I was myself by my reaction, I couldn't help but well up with tears when I said my good-byes.

To all my friends who stopped by and spoiled me or sent me get-well wishes: a big hug of thanks. And last but not least, to my husband Dean: I couldn't, and can't, make it through without your help. Love you, hon.
Claire L. Hebert-Dow

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Volunteering for CASA isn’t easy, but can be soul-satisfying

To The Daily Sun,

For the last seven years it has been my privilege to act as a voice for abused and neglected children in our state's court system. As a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer it is my responsibility to meet, at least monthly, with every child that I am assigned, to speak with their relevant service providers, teachers, caregivers etc. and to report to the court what is in the best interest of each child. In all honesty, it is not the easiest volunteer job in the world. However, the rewards when you see a child that now finds themselves in a safe and stable home is an incredible, soul-satisfying event.

As a CASA volunteer you would be provided both initial and on-going training, have access to an experienced and knowledgeable staff and get to work with some of the most dedicated professionals in the world, including family court judges, State DCYF workers, and family law attorneys just to name a few.

A training is scheduled to begin in Moultonborough on Oct. 12, and I sincerely hope that you will consider joining our ranks and making a difference in the lives of our abused and neglected children. Please go online to www.casanh.org or call (603) 626-4600 to learn more or to fill out an online application.

I look forward to working with you.

Martin J. (Marty) Cloran
CASA Peer Coordinator/ GAL
North Conway

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