Allianz Canada Announces 2002 Caregiver of the Year Award Recipients

Catherine Kuipers receives National Award

TORONTO, Nov. 1 /CNW/ - Allianz Canada is pleased to announce the
recipients for the fifth annual Allianz Canada Caregiver of the Year awards, a
program designed to bring much-deserved recognition to remarkable and selfless
Canadians providing non-professional care to a family member or loved one.
More than 300 entries describing self-sacrifice, kindness and devotion were
received this year from across the country.
"Allianz Canada is pleased to acknowledge many of these exceptional
caregivers through the Caregiver of the Year Awards," says Christian
Cassebaum, President and C.E.O., Allianz Canada. "The dedication that
caregivers provide is truly admirable, and we are honoured to be able to offer
recognition and thanks for the increasing role they play in our society."
One in four adult Canadians provide some form of care to someone in their
home with a long-term physical or mental illness, or who is frail or
disabled.(*) Allianz Canada, one of Canada's leading insurance companies and
part of the worldwide Allianz Group, is well aware of changing social dynamics
and is proud to honour and recognize these social heroes for their
humanitarian efforts.
Below are five remarkable stories of this year's Caregiver of the Year
National and Regional Award recipients.

Caregiver of the Year National Recipient, 2002 - $10,000 award recipient
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Catherine Kuipers, Red Deer, Alberta

Catherine Kuipers is the mother of two medically fragile children,
Angela, 20, and Timothy, 16, who have both been diagnosed with Acquired
Infantile Microcephaly. At six weeks of age, it was discovered that Angela's
brain was not growing. She was not expected to live more than a year. Because
of this, Angela cannot see, speak, or move her limbs with any control to take
care of herself. Timothy's limitations are very much like his older sister's,
so he is also totally dependant on others for all aspects of his care.
Catherine has been the primary caregiver for both Timothy and Angela from the
beginning, in addition to raising their older sister, Elissa, and three of her
husband's children from a former marriage.
In nominating Catherine, her husband Albert said, "Cathy has fought over
and over again for programs and facilities to enhance the quality of life for
Tim and Angela. In spite of their disabilities, both Tim and Angela are a
picture of health. It is Cathy's full-time commitment to provide a loving home
for Tim and Angela and to fight for their needs, their rights and for anything
that might add to their quality of life. It's a very special person to be
entrusted with the care of not one, but two special angels." Taylor Poor and
Laura Poole also nominated Catherine for this award and wrote, "She has cared
for her kids both in times of difficulty and fun. She has very limited
resources...(yet) Cathy faces all of these obstacles and does everything she
can in her means to provide and care for her two children."

Regional Award Recipients, 2002 - $1,000 award recipients
---------------------------------------------------------

2002 Atlantic Provinces Award Recipient, Lloyd Evans, Mount Herbert,
Prince Edward Island

Lloyd Evans cares for his wife of 34 years who suffers from Charcot-
Marie-Tooth Disorder (CMT) - a hereditary, progressive nerve disorder. Linda
is confined to a wheelchair, has only 10 percent of a healthy person's lung
capacity and is also diabetic. Several years ago, Lloyd quit his job to care
for Linda. His daily agenda includes cooking, cleaning, preserving, laundry
and caring for Linda. They have no car; Lloyd rides his bike five miles into
town and back again when they need something. Linda and Lloyd have two
children who are now young adults, and a grandson Linda never thought she
would be alive to see.
In nominating Lloyd, Linda wrote, "I am on 16 pills, 7 eye drops and 1
cream a day...all our meals are planned around my diabetic needs. He makes
bread for us and bakes treats for family and friends. At Christmas time, Lloyd
bakes goodies to give away as presents...he does (everything) without
complaining and makes sure to give me lots of hugs, kisses and 'I love you's."
Lloyd was also nominated by his sister-in-law Cathie. "Lyn and Lloyd are not
financially wealthy but they are richly blessed," said Cathie in her
nomination. "They have experienced more than a lifetime of struggle,
disappointment and grief. Yet each day, they find the strength and the courage
to continue."

2002 Quebec Award Recipient, John Piggott, Montreal, Quebec

At age 71, John Piggott has selflessly cared for his wife and son for the
last 48 years. John's wife Edythe has C.O.P.D. Scleroderma and is on oxygen 24
hours a day, 7 days a week. She needs someone nearby at all times in case of a
power outage. Their son (one of seven children) lives with them and suffers
from Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating disease that necessitates a wheelchair
for him to get around and help with his everyday living.
Edythe wrote in her nomination, "John has selflessly put our son and
myself before most of his desires and expectations for retirement and has
taken on the role of nurse, cook, grocery shopper, launderer, housekeeper,
etc...John is able to overlook our frailties and be kind and generous. We are
blessed with a family that rallies around us."

2002 Ontario Award Recipient, Max Erlichman, Toronto, Ontario

Max Erlichman and his wife Luba are Holocaust survivors who lost their
families during World War II. They came to Canada with three young children
and no money, and through hard work and self-sacrifice made the best of their
circumstances. Luba was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and refused to
take medication, which often made her behaviour unpredictable. Max took care
of her and the family, while trying to earn a living in a country where he
initially did not know the language. This continued until the mid-nineties,
when Luba was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
At age 86, Max continues to look after his wife with great devotion and
self-sacrifice, even though Luba needs constant reassurance and reminders. Max
rarely goes out, unless he can take Luba with him. Despite the circumstances
including his own life-long heart condition, Max is always very cheerful and
maintains an upbeat, positive attitude, finding humour even in the darkest
situation.
In nominating her father, Anna Henry wrote, "When my mother visits her
doctor, every year he asks her to write a sentence. Although her memory has
deteriorated to a considerable extent, she always writes the same thing: 'I
have a very good husband.' I agree. His courage, devotion, patience, work
ethic, love and self-sacrifice for more than 50 years, under extremely trying
circumstances, are an awesome inspiration to us all. They remind us to try
harder and complain less, and to be grateful for what we have."

British Columbia and Territories Award Recipient, Hendrika Zyderveld,
Kelowna, British Columbia

Hendrika and Jack Zyderveld celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary
this past September, 41 of those years with him as a quadriplegic and her as
his primary caregiver. On August 21st, 1961, while walking his rounds as a
night watchman, a car struck Jack from behind, leaving him with a C-5 and 6
spinal cord injury. Over the years, Hendrika has seen her share of health
crises as her spouse experienced them, including gall bladder surgery, a
bleeding ulcer that necessitated a blood transfusion later found to be tainted
with Hepatitis C, and a left lung with a tendency to collapse.
For thirty-nine years, Hendrika cared for Jack alone, until a tracheotomy
and a ventilator necessitated twenty-four hour care. Trained staff help, yet
Hendrika is never "off-duty"-transporting him to medical appointments,
delivering specimens to the laboratory and sleeping next to a room where the
ventilator breathes all night for Jack and beeps out an alarm for any changes
in his respiratory system.
Hendrika's nominator Bailey Larroquette said, "very few women would or
even could have committed (their) lifestyle to the extent that Hendrika has,
for as long as she has done it. It takes someone very special who is
especially loving, caring, giving and dedicated."

The 2002 Panel
--------------
This year's judges were: Faye Porter, Vice President, Quality, Research
and Volunteer Development, VON; Andria Spindel, Chief Executive Officer,
Ontario March of Dimes; Charlotte Empey, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Living;
Judy Gerstel, Health Editor, The Toronto Star; Gertrude Higgins, Board of
Directors, Canadian Association for Community Care, and Judy DesRoches, Vice
President of Marketing, Allianz Canada.

Allianz Canada, Protecting what Matters
---------------------------------------
Caregivers are often not aware of the support services available to them.
As part of Allianz Canada's ongoing program to recognize and support Canada's
caregivers, the Allianz Canada Online Caregiver Information Directory allows
Canadian caregivers to quickly and easily access a directory of organizations
that will provide services they need to cope, including homecare and home
assistance, transportation, assistive devices, palliative care, counselling
and support along with a listing of other directories and resources. The
directory can be accessed at www.allianz.ca. Nominations 2003
----------------
Canadians are asked to nominate non-professional caregivers they consider
exceptional. Nominations are to include a testimonial of 500 words or less,
describing the circumstances both of the caregiver and the care recipient. The
names of the nominator, the caregiver, the care recipient, one other person
familiar with the caregiving situation and contact information must also be
included.
Nominations will be accepted from May 2003 to August 2003. An independent
committee will judge the nominations in September. Recipients of the Awards
will be announced in November 2003. Nomination criteria and requirements for
entitlement can be obtained from Allianz Canada, Awards Program, 10 York Mills
Road, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M2P 2G5 or on the Allianz Canada Website at
www.allianz.ca. The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading providers of financial
services, operating 700 companies in more than 70 countries. Worldwide, the
Allianz Group has a gross premium income of about 75.1 billion euros (Cdn
$106 billion) and manages assets in excess of 1,172 billion euros (Cdn
$1,700 billion). Allianz employs over 179,000 people worldwide. With
experience dating back to 1911, Allianz Canada writes over $748 million in
premiums and has total assets exceeding $1.7 billion. All figures as of 12/01.
www.allianz.ca

Photos available upon request.



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For further information: Nina Budman/Jennifer Whatley, Budman and
Associates, Tel: (416) 515-7667, Fax: (416) 515-7372
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