What Saved My Mother’s Life
real stories from real people

Tom Burns, CSECC Campaign Liaison


We all like to think that we are safe and secure, but one incident or accident can surprise and shock us.

In 1980, my father had a massive stroke, and my mother was instantly transformed into a 24-hour caregiver for a person who had severe speech and mobility issues. My parents lived in Illinois, and I was in Sacramento and felt helpless.

My mother was getting very depressed and was beginning develop back injuries. Then the local United Way stepped in and let my mother know about a senior daycare program that the local United Way had developed.


A Lutheran church had offered the use of their community meeting room and had recruited several volunteer church members. United Way had provided a small grant that covered the cost of a supervising daycare person and a van. Three days a week my father attended the daycare program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and my mother finally got relief that she could count on.

Now they call the help that she received “respite care”. I am convinced that it saved her life.

Tom Burns retired from California Department of Rehabilitation after 37 years of service and has been a superstar loaned executive/CSECC campaign liaison for seven years. We are blessed to have Tom on our team!




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