Elizabeth Dole Foundation
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Amanda Arwood-Lane

The military was not my world. I am an artist. When I became a caregiver, it was like learning a new language.

What was one of the first major challenges you faced as a caregiver?

I was overwhelmed by medical concerns. I quickly realized I needed to become more vocal. The doctors were so focused on his gunshot wound, it felt like no one was paying attention to his declining kidneys. From complications due to his injuries, he eventually needed a kidney transplant. I had a wonderful military liaison and a nurse case manager who were my angels. They gave me the courage to stand up for what was best for my husband, Marshall.

What is a current struggle you face as a caregiver?

I have issues letting go. We have two young kids so we are busy, but I still struggle to ask for help and to trust people. The caregivers I’ve met through the Dole Fellows program make me feel comfortable and have allowed me to trust people again.

What advice do you wish you had when you became a military caregiver?

Don’t let people run you over. You know your veteran and your veteran’s problems most intimately. It can also be hard to see my husband angry because of his injury. It took me a while to not take his anger personally.

My Story

Amanda cares for her husband, Marshall. He was a combat medic injured in Afghanistan. He survived a gunshot wound to his right upper chest. Blood loss shut down his kidneys and he required a transplant. He was able to receive one from a close friend and fellow soldier. Amanda and Marshall faced fertility issues, possibly as a result of his time serving, so Amanda is also active in discussing resources that help couples looking to conceive.

As a Dole Fellow, she brings attention to the mental well being of caregivers and the need for respite options.