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Tasha's Story

Tasha's Story

My name is Tasha Richard. My dad, Gerald, or Gerry as he was affectionately known, passed away from oesophageal cancer on September 10, 2010, right after my third child was born. He suffered for years with Crohn's Disease, at a time where the disease was not understood and treatment options were minimal.

Caregiving for my Dad during his six month illness was bittersweet for me and my sisters. He had a wonderful team of professionals through the NS hospice program that helped us ensure his final weeks were as comfortable and pain free as possible and he was able to rest at home, surrounded by those he loved and who loved him.

Most times I felt helpless against the cancer that was ravaging his body. I watched as he desperately tried to eat something, ANYthing, to only then choke and become exhausted by the simple act of nourishing his frail body. We tried smoothies and meal replacements but they caused other problems. The dairy and gluten were inflaming his GI tract and made him feel worse. Cancer was winning but he was dying faster from hunger.

Throughout his life, and most poignantly in his final days, he taught me to accept that which we cannot control and left us with the grace and dignity that he lived his life with.

One thing we did to help us cope as caregivers was to chronicle our journey with our Dad during those six months which we called “The Chronicle Gerald”. I still could not help feel that there must have been something we could have done to help him.

I joined Gregg, Dr. Mary Lynch, and the dedicated team at Sperri to help create products for people suffering like my Dad did. In the end we could not help my Dad but with Sperri my hope is that we CAN improve the nutrition of others who are suffering with their own health journey