Last fall, Muscular Dystrophy Canada welcomed participants to its first Atlantic Caregivers Retreat weekends in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This post is part of a series. Learn more about the retreat by clicking here and you can read Jaclyn’s story here.
Tell us about yourself and the person you care for.
My name is Alastair MacDonald and I am a retired P.E. and classroom teacher. I just turned 60 and have been retired now for five years! I retired as soon as I was able to because my wife, Kathie, became extremely ill, and it was getting too difficult to work and properly care for her at the same time.
Kathie and I actually met when we were in Grade 9. We became more serious in high school and university, and we married following my 3rd year of university. We raised three beautiful children (Sarah, Luke and Cailin), who are successful young adults. They are extremely supportive of me and Kathie, and we are blessed to have them all living near us in the Halifax Dartmouth area.
Kathie worked in the health care system as an ECG technologist for many years until her health issues forced her to stop. Kathie always had health issues, even when she was very young: she had severe asthma, serious allergies and digestive issues. We found out later that she also had an undiagnosed neuromuscular disorder, which falls under the umbrella of muscular dystrophy. This is why we became members of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. The organization has been very helpful providing us with equipment (like a seat pillow for a wheelchair and a mattress) and supporting us with advice.