Roger was a 68 year old Native American who lived on the Canoncito Navajo Reservation. He was diagnosed with diabetes in 2005, and the disease was aggressive. In 2007, Roger had both legs amputated and it became necessary for him to travel 90 miles round trip, three times each week to receive hemodialysis.
The treatment, travel and expense wore heavily on Roger and his family and he eventually decided against aggressive treatment and chose hospice care so he could spend time with his family in comfort. He relied on the care of his adopted son, Henry, and his two daughters. Henry, a silversmith, made and sold beautiful jewelry to help provide for their family, but during Roger’s decline, Henry found himself spending all of his time assisting with Roger’s care needs and little time earning a living.
After the death of their mother, Henry and his sisters were the sole caregivers for Roger and Henry was the sole wage earner. Money had always been tight for the family, but when Roger needed constant care, there was no money to provide even basic needs for the family.
“This family is very spiritual and giving” said social worker, Georgia Sanchez, “their main focus is on family and sharing of resources. They share whatever they can and find it difficult to ask for help.” The Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund provided funds to cover household utilities and necessities for the Roger and his family so they could focus on spending time together instead of worrying about money and utility shut-off.
Roger passed away in September 2015, and he is dearly missed by his children who are thankful for the time they had together, unencumbered by the weight of financial obligations, thanks to the Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund.