MACON, Ga. — After becoming his caregiver, a Juliette woman lost her husband to cancer. His dying wish was to start an organization that could help others. Now, she's carrying out that wish.
Cheryl Finney has spent 30 years as a caregiver.
"It was a lot of work, but because it came from the heart, it wasn't work," Finney said.
Finney took care of her son, her mother, and then her husband, Joseph Finney Sr.. He served as a deacon at their church and enjoyed mentoring young people.
"He would take them under his wing and people would say, 'How many kids you got?; and he would say, 'I got 29,'" Finney said.
He was diagnosed for the third time in 2019. Finney says their insurance didn't cover a lot of the treatments, but they found people to lean on.
"If we wouldn't have had our church and family to help us and we'd be as blessed as we are, I don't know what we would have done," Finney said.
Finney started Wings & Words of Hope after her husband died in May 2020. The foundation works to provide programs and resources to uplift and encourage full-time caregivers and their families.
"As a caregiver, you need an outlet sometimes, because you got to take care of yourself so you can take care of your loved one," Finney said.
November is Caregivers Month, and every year, Finney asks folks to nominate a caregiver that goes above and beyond.
Patricia Duncan works on the board of the foundation and has devoted her life to the profession.
"Letting them know that they are important and that they are angels, because I can tell you some of the caregivers that I met, it only takes angels in order to be able to do that," Duncan said.
Then, Finney's foundation finds a special way to honor them.
"It's their day today, but it could be ours tomorrow. You never know who's going to have to care for us, so that's the reason I know caregiving is so important," Duncan said
"That's what the foundation is about -- it's about helping in any way we can help the caregivers," Finney said.
On December 11, the foundation will host a benefit dinner at the Tubman Museum from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.