The Kathi Koll Foundation

Serving our community.

A Caregiver Story: Surviving Amidst Loss

by: Kathi Koll on

While on active duty in the military, the life of Jacqueline's son was cut short. The loss hit the whole family hard, but it had a particularly strong effect on Jacqueline. She already suffered from both bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders, and she also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and spinal disc degeneration among other health issues. Her daughter Jessica stepped forward to care for her mother, but the transition has not been easy. With the advent of Covid-19, Jessica’s new job as a dance teacher was no longer available. Her mother also had to move acros more

A Caregiver Story: The Benefit of a Break

by: Kathi Koll on

Doreen’s 87-year-old mother needs round-the-clock care due to dementia, blindness, and diabetes. Moving is also painful for her because of osteoarthritis and an old hip fracture. Because her two siblings aren’t able to help, Doreen has stepped in as the primary caregiver, which has meant stepping down from her own full-time career to part-time employment. In addition, Doreen has had trouble finding trustworthy substitute caregivers so she could do her part-time work, go on errands, and visit with her daughters. This lack of any break has led to extreme exhaustion, which h more

A Caregiver Story: Needed Group Respite

by: Kathi Koll on

Caring for 100-year-old Alzheimer’s patient, Maria, is a team effort for her family. Her daughter and two granddaughters divide the caregiving responsibilities, so someone is always on duty. For the last six years, they have undertaken this task with love, but it has also meant some deprivation. For example, her granddaughter Hunter, 25, hasn’t been able to accept full-time work or develop a career. In addition, the three caregivers rarely get to leave the house to have fun as a group, because someone must always stay home with Maria. Then the K more

A Caregiver Story: A Needed Helping Hand

by: Kathi Koll on

Angela, 78, and her husband, Ruben, 80, had suffered an unexpected setback. In a severe fall, Angela fractured her rib and also injured her elbow. The sole caregiver for her husband, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, Angela could no longer do the required work to care for him. The couple had to hire in-home assistance to provide for some of Ruben’s needs, and these additional medical bills threw off their finances. The stress had become untenable when The Kathi Koll Foundation stepped in to provide a little light. The foundation paid off his remaining $256 medic more

A Caregiver Story: Some Needed Relief

by: Kathi Koll on

For more than a decade, Kathy and her son, Matthew, 27, have worked to win his fight with leukemia. The battle has had some ups and downs, including periodic relapses and arduous stem cell transplantation in Seattle, far from their North Dakota home. Kathy has been his primary caregiver during the downturns that leave Matthew both vulnerable to infection and too weak to care for himself. He has required a non-working caregiver, which meant their financial situation became challenging, and then an unexpected $8,000 dental bill to replace Kathy’s cracked imp more

A Caregiver Story: The Gift of Heat

by: Kathi Koll on

Jody’s 85-year-old mother, Angelina, was literally dying from the cold in their home, but the family couldn’t afford a new heater. Both heaters in the house had broken around the same time, leaving only space heaters to provide warmth this past winter. They used space heaters and blankets to make do, but the cold was taxing Angelina’s heart. “It was freezing in the house, which caused her weak heart to beat faster” to maintain adequate body heat, Jody said. “Then she caught a cold, which caused her heart to beat even faster.” The strain eventually led Jody's more