Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul: Stories to Inspire Caregivers in the Home, the Community and the World

Overview

A dose of inspiration for caregiving professionals and the millions of souls who help care for family and friends

Over 54 million people in America help care for ailing or recovering family members and friends and millions more give of themselves to others through day care, eldercare, emergency and community service.

While rewarding, care giving requires tremendous emotional, physical and spiritual stamina. Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul...

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Overview

A dose of inspiration for caregiving professionals and the millions of souls who help care for family and friends

Over 54 million people in America help care for ailing or recovering family members and friends and millions more give of themselves to others through day care, eldercare, emergency and community service.

While rewarding, care giving requires tremendous emotional, physical and spiritual stamina. Chicken Soup for the Caregiver's Soul offers a respite to those who give care through inspiring and uplifting stories about the work they do and its power to transform lives.

Through awe-inspiring glimpses of real-life experiences of others, readers will find the motivation to overcome a challenging day, welcome recognition for their selfless contributions, and the encouragement to continue making a positive difference in others' lives.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Mark Victor Hansen is the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

LeAnn Thieman, L.P.N., has been a nurse for thirty-two years. She is a professional speaker and the coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Magic of Making a Difference

To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
Samuel Johnson

We were all looking forward to Easter. Charlie had run to get last-minute candy for the Easter baskets. Finishing breakfast, both of our children were running and laughing through the living room. Suddenly, Ken, our eight-year-old, burst into the den, where I was on the phone.

Steph is acting really funny, he said.

Yes, I know. I hear you laughing.

No, he insisted, There's something wrong.

I hung up the phone and walked quickly into the bedroom where five-year-old Stephanie was lying on the floor, unconscious, with a small amount of foam in the corners of her mouth. Unable to wake her, I told Ken to call 911 and I, nurse-mom, quickly assessed her condition. Though breathing with a steady pulse, her color was gray.

The ambulance arrived and took her to Children's Hospital. Shortly after entering the emergency room, she had a seizure. Within minutes, she stopped breathing. As the staff feverishly worked on her, my husband, Charlie, arrived. We stood together, looking through the emergency room windows, not believing what was happening.

The doctor pulled us aside and told us he had no explanation for Stephanie's condition but was very concerned because her status had changed so quickly. After routine questions regarding overall health status, history and access to poisons, they transported Stephanie for a CAT scan. We were left to pray. In a state of shock, I could not believe how rapidly our lives had been turned upside down.

An hour ago, we were eagerly looking forward to Easter, and now our world was crumbling around us.

With no remarkable results from the CAT scan, Stephanie was taken to the intensive care unit, where she was placed on a ventilator, in a coma. They called in expert after expert. Each ran tests and then let us know they didn't know what was happening. While I hoped and prayed for answers, I was also relieved as they ruled out one serious explanation at a time. I knew that in spite of the uncertainties, no diagnosis was good news.

We took turns at her bedside, making sure that someone was there at all times. After six days, there was no improvement. The doctors informed us that they believed she had viral encephalitis, and there was little they could do except provide supportive care. They also cautioned us that children with encephalitis often do not make a full recovery. If she did get better, we should brace ourselves for a child with severe disabilities. We were very discouraged yet hopeful for a miracle.

Later that evening, Stephanie began to move her feet and hands. By the following morning, she was breathing on her own, and the nurses detached the respirator. As I was washing her face, she suddenly put her arm around my neck and said my name. I thought I was dreaming and just stood there and stared.

From that day on, Stephanie showed steady improvement. With great courage, she approached her recovery with energy and humor. She never complained or asked Why me? She simply would ask, What's next?

We met with a series of rehabilitation specialists, who outlined a program for her to regain her strength and her skills. After a day at physical therapy, where many of the kids were coughing and sneezing, we decided it would be better to rehabilitate her at home. Both Charlie and I took a leave from work, and my mother came to help. We helped Stephanie re-learn how to walk, feed herself, ride her bike and read. We stayed focused on small improvements and watched slow, steady progress.

After six months of daily care, we decided to take a break and go to Disney World. Planning the trip gave Stephanie a new focus and seemed to accelerate her progress. After careful coordination with her doctor, we were off for a week of fun and relaxation.

From the moment she entered the Magic Kingdom in a stroller, she was fascinated by a rocket-ship ride on top of a building. The faster the ride went around, the higher the rockets flew. She begged to take a spin, but the line was long, and in the heat, we knew we'd have to pace ourselves. Instead, we went on the Teacups. What a mistake! It seems like someone was always getting sick on the Teacups. Then we tried It's A Small World After All. We didn't know that once you heard that tune, you could never get it out of your head.

All Stephanie wanted was to ride that rocket ship, but we knew she couldn't tolerate waiting up to an hour in such heat. Finally, on the last day, right about closing, we saw that the line had all but disappeared. We ran over to the gate only to have a smiling attendant pull the chain across saying, That's all for today. You come back and see Mickey tomorrow.


¬2004. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the CaregiverÆs Soul: Stories to Inspire Caregivers in the Home, the Community and the World by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, LeAnn Thieman, L.P.N. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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