Posted: Dec 10, 2012 11:57 AM by NBC News (KVEO)
Updated: Dec 10, 2012 12:05 PM
BROWNSVILLE (KVEO) - In Texas, nearly half a million people take on the role of caregiver in the life of the elderly or cancer patient.
And many times, those unsung heroes get overlooked.
Gloria Cruz said she can remember feeling down and pulled in a million directions.
In June this year, she and her best friend Barbara Montalvo received some life changing news from the doctor.
"We showed up at his office and he gave us the news that she had breast cancer. It's like huh, and I took it harder than she did," said Gloria Cruz, Caregiver.
Montalvo didn't even need to ask, she knew Cruz would be at her side through it all.
"I knew that she would be there for me, and we had been through other things together. So I mean this was just going to be another journey," said Barbara Montalvo, Cancer Patient.
Cruz took on the role of Montalvo's caregiver.
"So many roles. Being a parent, being a counselor, being a friend, being just so many roles, financier, financial advisor," said Cruz.
But all those jobs, started to take a toll on Cruz. Quickly the balancing of Cruz's life and Montalvo's needs became too much.
"I didn't want any help because I was taking it real bad. I got sick, I lost weight, I wasn't eating," said Cruz.
In fact research shows, caregivers are at a high risk for depression and anxiety, chronic stress related health problems and loss of income due to missed work.
Montalvo saw her best friend deteriorating and knew a change had to be made.
Read more: http://bit.ly/T1cBPl
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