Courageous Stories

Highlighting community stories of strength & resiliency

Latino Leadership Program Graduate Helps Her Community One Family at a Time

Dozens of families who have experienced serious illness or a death in the family have benefited from Blanca Yareth Lopez’s leadership. Read this story »

Caregiver Voices: 'Even if You’re Exhausted, You Can Gain from Finding a Creative Outlet'

Nancy Carlson, the beloved Minnesota author of more than 60 children’s books, became an informal caregiver when her husband, Barry McCool, began showing symptoms of frontotemporal dementia. The degenerative disease can cause dramatic changes in personality, social interactions and other behaviors. Nancy cared for her husband – also her… Read this story »

Caregiver Voices: Taking Care of Yourself Can Mean Saying No

From her home in the Twin Cities, Laura Gilbert provides long-distance caregiving for her mother in Florida. Laura spends a lot of time on the phone with her mother while paid drivers and neighbors provide day-to-day assistance. In the past, Laura frequently flew to Florida on short notice to provide care and left her job because she was… Read this story »

Caregiver Voices: ‘This is Work That I’m Choosing to Do’

From the time she was a child, Jeanne LaBore expected and hoped to take care of her mother someday. Five years ago, Jeanne became that caregiver. She noticed that her mother, now 89, was experiencing gaps in memory and repeating herself. Jeanne wondered if her mother needed assistance with tasks such as managing finances, taking… Read this story »

Skills-Based Volunteer Sally Wahman: ‘Wilder Was Exactly the Type of Organization I Wanted to Help’

When Sally Wahman was searching for a short-term volunteer position after she left Fairview Health Services, she found an opportunity to use her skills right in her former office building. Sally, a health care executive, had worked for eight years in office space leased by Fairview at Wilder Center. Read this story »

Wilder Meals on Wheels Volunteers: A Warm Smile and Greeting Is a Little Gift We Can Give

Wilder’s Meals on Wheels program provides a crucial service in delivering meals to older adults and adults with disabilities who would not otherwise have access to a nutritious meal. In 2017, Wilder Meals on Wheels delivered over 28,000 meals, an accomplishment made possible because of dedicated volunteers like Tim Morrell and Linda… Read this story »

Caregiver Services Volunteer Ron Dexter: ‘I’m Giving of My Gifts’

If a caregiver wants to talk, Ron Dexter is ready to listen. Ron is a Wilder volunteer who calls people connected with Wilder Caregiver Services to ask how they are doing. These check-in calls help Caregiver Services reach caregivers whose needs have changed, and they can often serve as a morale boost for people who are caring for family… Read this story »

Margaret Lewis: The Children Are Her Legacy

Margaret Lewis directly influenced more than 2,500 children during a career at Wilder that spanned almost three decades. By including Wilder in her estate plan, Margaret could now influence thousands more. Margaret, who passed away at 96 in December 2017, created a charitable bequest that will become the Margaret E. Lewis Fund for… Read this story »