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Patient Voices: Stories from the Saskatoon Health Region Live Well™ with Chronic Conditions Program


Stories from the Saskatoon Health Region Live Well™ with Chronic Conditions Program for Aboriginal people

These stories were created in March 2008, in a CDS workshop (co-facilitated by Pip Hardy) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as part of the evaluation of the Live Well™ with Chronic Conditions Program for Aboriginal people. The program is based on the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which also forms the basis of the UK’s Expert Patient Programme. The work was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Saskatoon Health Region. The opinions expressed in these stories are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Saskatoon Health Region. The report on the programme, which includes reference to the use of the digital stories as part of the assessment and evaluation process, can be found here.

The story of an eagle
Albert recounts the story of his life (and before), and hopes that the lessons he has learned the hard way may help his own grandchildren and other young people avoid the same pitfalls, and steer clear of the potential danger of diabetes.

A second chance
Ericka’s life was saved by a liver transplant, but she continues to live with the knowledge that someone else had to die in order for her to live.

Our journey in life
Florence is a master at creating the Birch Bark Bitings incorporating the wisdom of the Medicine Wheel. She links the meaning of the symbols to her own life and her growing understanding of the need to live well.

Don’t knock on my door
So many members of Vicky’s family have died too young. When she is invited to participate in the Live Well with Chronic Disease programme, her wish is that they could have had the same chance of healthier lives.

I remember them
Della pays tribute to her family, looking back with gratitude to her adoptive parents and forward to her two young sons, gently reminding them of the importance of a healthy lifestyle so that they will grown up strong and well.

Evelyn is a respected Elder of her community. In a letter to her grandson, Evelyn recounts the story of her life, from the trauma of residential school and its effects on her relationship with her own mother, to her desire to set a healthy example to her own grandchildren and other members of the community.

Susan lovingly recalls her Mooshum (Grandfather) and the powerful influence he has had on her life. His warmth, humour, knowledge and respect for cultural traditions has helped Susan to preserve much that is good about their culture, including the desire to live a healthy life.

My family
Many members of Yvonne’s family have died, including one of her children. These losses, together with the inspiration of her father, have taught her the importance of family and the need to take care of her own health.

Grandpa’s inspiration
Shirley’s Dad is a loving and loved father and grandfather – an inspiration to his family and his community. She pays tribute to his generosity and commitment to family and hopes that her own life may honour his memory.

Why me?
Dennis was an active, fit man who has struggled to overcome the effects of high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as chronic pain resulting from several accidents. The love and support of his family, and his faith, help him to come to terms with his chronic conditions and he is now living a much healthier – and more positive – life.

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