Joni Aldrich is an author and national speaker that usually focuses on difficult subjects such as cancer and caregiving. She’s also a cancer widow who knows the challenges of being single as a mature adult as do the millions of singles over the age of 50 that are left alone every year by either divorce or death of a spouse.
Author Joni Aldrich uses her unique combination of life experience, research, and even humor to publish books full of advice and hope for surviving cancer, caregiving, brain illness, and grief. These helpful books are available at BasketofCare.com, along with wonderful gift baskets to send to others that are going through a difficult time. The adult and childrens’ baskets are lovingly designed by a cancer survivor, and are a great way to say “I care” when a plant or card just won’t do.
Joni Aldrich was raised in a home where the words “I can’t” were never used in a sentence, so she learned from a young age the tools and tenacity required to persevere throughout life’s challenges. In 2004, Joni found herself putting all of her personal and professional skills to use in a way that she had never imagined: learning everything she could about cancer and caregiving after her 43-year-old husband Gordon was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. After two years of crisis in the caregiving school of hard knocks, Joni was devastated when Gordon lost his battle. Several years later, she quit a job that she loved to use the knowledge and insight she gained through her experiences to help others navigate their own life-changing journeys. She has published six books designed to help readers survive cancer, caregiving, brain illness, and grief. Add to that twenty years of training and public speaking, and her ability to inspire, empower, and motivate are limitless. We are glad to have Joni join the network with Caregiving S.O.S. (Sanity or Superwoman)….
Survivor, Caregiver, or Fighter—No matter your relationship with cancer…
Joni Aldrich is here to help.
Joni Aldrich knows that when it comes to cancer care, knowledge is power. The first thing you need to know? Finding the right cancer treatment facility and protocol is critical. She should know. After her husband, Gordon, was diagnosed, she discovered fighting cancer comes with a steep learning curve. Despite her background as a research analyst—and despite countless hours spent digging through tons of information—she did not discover how to effectively fight the disease until it was too late for Gordon.
But Joni wants you to benefit from her learning curve. That’s why she authored three books that chronicle her experiences with the disease—and that’s why she created this website. With Joni by your side, you are not alone in your battle against this deadly disease:
She speaks your language. Joni knows what patients and caregivers need to hear and she knows how they need to hear it. She explains cancer care without using medical jargon. She uses her own experiences with the disease to help you create a game plan for your treatment.
She is dedicated to cancer care research. Joni stays current with the latest trends in cancer care and can help you decide whether they are right for you or those in your life who are fighting cancer. She can direct you towards the right approach for you or your loved one’s cancer treatment and give you the confidence to break out of the traditional care mold.
She is well connected in the cancer community. Throughout her husband’s battle and after, Joni has worked to build key relationships with cancer care organizations across America. She recently attended the Cancer Survivorship for Clinicians: Helping Survivors Live Well Beyond Cancer seminar at Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is a member of CDC North Carolina Comprehensive Cancer Program, CDC South Carolina Cancer Alliance, and CDC Florida Comprehensive Cancer Control Program.
Joni will empower you with the hard-won knowledge she learned from her own life-changing struggle. Jump-start the treatment that could help to save your life or the life of the one you love!
In Joni’s Words…
A true story of love, devotion, and sacrifice.
Gordon Eric Aldrich was born on July 31st, 1960, in a small town in Michigan to Gordon and Charlotte Aldrich. Several years after he was born, the family moved to Statesville, North Carolina. Gordon’s childhood was that of any healthy boy raised in the South.
After graduating from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, Gordon’s first job was selling office equipment. Soon Gordon found his true “calling” when he went to work for Altec Industries selling bucket trucks and digger derricks to the utilities industry. He just loved playing with trucks!
Gordon and I met in 1984 and were married on March 22, 1986. We made our home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Like most men, Gordon enjoyed his “toys.” We originally bought a boat, but we soon changed to motor homes. He loved to travel across our country as much as he loved to call on his customers.
On May 13, 2004, Gordon was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. Despite the fact that he was young, strong, and determined to beat the odds, his cancer was more aggressive than his treatments. Gordon died on May 13, 2006, two years to the day after he was diagnosed—right after our 20th wedding anniversary. There was a bucket truck arch at his visitation and funeral. People from across the country came to say good-bye to a kind man with a booming voice and an easy laugh.
Throughout Gordon’s battle with cancer, I fought to find the best approach to his treatment, much of which took place 800 miles from our home. Today, through my books, websites, seminars, and other resources, I hope to be part of the support system for others who are fighting for life.
In the days, months, and years following Gordon’s death, I’ve personally found great solace in the ocean. I’m not into meditation or channeling (I rarely stay still long enough to do either!), but having been raised close to the ocean, I seem to have an open connection with God and my creativity while I’m looking out over the waves. Somehow the sea air gets into my mind, and thoughts and emotions merge like the soaring seagulls overhead.
It is through long walks on the beach that all of my books came to life. The beach was the birthplace of “The Job Description of a Cancer Caregiver” in The Saving of Gordon: Lifelines to W-I-N Against Cancer and the inspiration for the “If Only” chapter, which appears in both The Saving of Gordon and in my second book, The Losing of Gordon: A Beacon Through the Storm Called “Grief.” That special chapter offers hope to overcome life’s “if only” regrets. The beach is also where I wrote the following passage for The Losing of Gordon:
“The beach was swept away by the twin forces of violent wind and waves. Days later, piles of broken shells were deposited onto the shore. Nature had begun the rebuilding process. This is much the same as the process we undergo when rebuilding our lives after suffering the catastrophic loss of someone we love…”
There are many more beach walks in my future. Stay tuned…
~Joni James Aldrich
Articles by Joni
Hi, everyone, many of you have followed my journey from the very beginning and contributed to my work. Others are new friends and supporters of my causes. Today, I’m pleased to tell you that I am now a syndicated columnist atwww.alwaysnewyou.com. This prestigious website is visited by an average of 8,000 visitors a month. I was recently given the honor of joining their elite featured columnist team. My columns will run weekly.
During any difficult life circumstance, going it alone is not a healthy or even practical option. It helps to realize that there are resources available to guide and support you along the way. For the next few weeks, my column will feature the “You Are Not Alone” series of articles focused on different life-altering events and fulfillment of needs. The first article is for you, if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer. Here is the link:
Nobody ever said caregiving would be easy, but the pain and stress can be at a whole new level if someone you love is actively dying. For loved ones, this can be a time when a team of earthbound angels can make all the difference between a traumatic experience and a difficult, natural part of living that you have to get through. The point is that the family may not have to survive these final days without help. And, while hospice will be with you and the patient for some of that time, they aren’t there—as some people believe—all of the time.
Health-Related Modifications To Your Family Home: Six Ways To Minimize The Cost And Headaches
I hope you like this week’s article. It’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone to become part of your dementia or Alzheimer’s disease patient’s world. If you like it, please go the Website and share or recommend it.
Happy holidays! This weeks Always New You column is some food for thought for being a friend of a caregiver. Blessings, and may your days be healthy and bright!
Hello, this weeks Always New You article is focused on caregiving for chronically ill children over the holidays, but could easily apply to all children–Christmas is a bad time for them to be sick!
Special thanks to Theresa Gratton and Gina Kaurich–the experts–for helping to make this important article possible!
Hi, this week’s column is so pertinent to the season, and caregiving for a patient with a compromised immune system:
I hope that this holiday season finds you and your loved one’s well and full of good health.
My first article:
With your incredible support, I will continue to use my books, speaking, radio shows, and columns to spread a message of hope to those who are seeking guidance to help them survive cancer, caregiving, brain illness, and grief.
There is still much work to do. An announcement soon will focus on a new project with a charity called Courage to Dare in cooperation with the Women 4 Women network and the founder of that organization, Juliet Aguwa.
Your support and caring encouragement keeps me going.
Best, Joni Aldrich
Joni in the Media
Joni is an experienced speaker whose plain-spoken, straightforward method for delivering this important information never fails to reach her audiences. She would love to share her message with your organization.
Which of her cancer solutions seminars is right for you?
How to W-I-N Against Cancer: Finding the Right Treatment Facility and Oncologist. In this seminar, Aldrich takes audiences through her W-I-N Method, a step-by-step process for researching treatment facilities and doctors. She covers how to use primary sources on the Web, how to successfully Interrogate doctors and other medical staff, and how to create and use a cancer Network to gain important knowledge from those who have experienced cancer firsthand.
Recruiting the Best: How to Pick Your Cancer-Fighting Team and Create a Winning Game Plan. Building a winning team against cancer is much like building a winning football team. You need a great stadium (treatment facility), a great coach and staff (oncologist and medical staff), a great referee (caregiver), a great game plan (course of treatment), and so forth. In this seminar, Aldrich teaches audiences how to research and recruit each of those elements to build a Super Bowl-caliber cancer-fighting team. She also helps them zero in on how they can use the Web to find their cancer-fighting all-star lineup, complete with special teams—or what she calls a cyberlifeplan, which helps patients and their caregivers navigate their options online, form a core base of knowledge of their type of cancer, and sidestep the information that will lead them down a wrong path.
Recipe for Success: Cancer Treatment 101 and How to Plan Your Cancer Protocol.Treating cancer is an intricate, multi-step process that can involve many treatment options. In this seminar, Aldrich provides a basic introduction to cancer treatment and discusses the building blocks of an effective, goal-driven protocol—which includes your cancer-specific combination of treatments, research, and goal-setting.
Living to Give: What It Takes to Be a Cancer Caregiver. Being a cancer caregiver is one of the most exhausting, yet critical, roles a person can play. In this seminar, Aldrich explains what it takes to be an effective cancer caregiver. She’ll cover everything from how to handle day-to-day issues such as warding off germs and getting your patient to eat to the rollercoaster of emotions you will experience.
Calling for Back-Up: How to Create Your Cancer Village and Define Your Resources. It takes a village to fight cancer effectively. In this seminar, Aldrich explains how to select the family, friends, neighbors, etc., who will make up your cancer village. She’ll also help you define the resources—such as medical and technical facilities, mental and spiritual guidance, and support groups or other organizations—that will help you in the fight against cancer.
If you would like to schedule Joni to speak at your organization, please contact her atJoni@JoniAldrich.com.