Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Hidden Heroes
Caregiver Journey Map Campaign for Inclusive Care

Tanya McKee

You must always move forward, for yourself and for your loved one.

What are some of the things you have learned from being a caregiver?

Life changes, your goals, and outlook change. You must learn to think outside of the box.

What is the most difficult thing about your daily routine?

My biggest challenge is ensuring that all of my son’s needs are met and we are both living our lives to the fullest.

What advice would you offer to other military and veteran caregivers?

Never give up.

My Story

On April 19, 2008, Tanya's son, Matthew sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Matthew was serving in the Army at the time of his injury. With over 30 years of experience as a critical care nurse, Tanya was ready to take on the role as his caregiver. Since his injury, Matthew has made exceptional progress and Tanya is learning how to address each challenge as it comes along. Sometimes, this means thinking outside of the box.

Tanya's entire adult life has always been about caregiving. As both Matthew's mother and his critical care nurse, taking care of Matthew is the most challenging thing she's ever done. With everything that has changed in their lives, including helping their family adjust and coping with the loss of friends, they move forward. The most important thing for a caregiver is to seek help. This is the most difficult, yet most rewarding, job they will ever have. And they must always move forward, for themselves, and for their loved one.