More To The Story with Staley: Grandparents support group

Local woman sets up support group for others in her position of raising her grandkids

RINGGOLD, Georgia (WDEF) – Catherine Becker is 62 years old. She lives in Catoosa County. Coming to our area from Knoxville. 22 years ago. She’s a wife. A cancer survivor. A mother of three adult children.

And now, the adoptive mother of three grandchildren. Ages six, five and two.

The children of her 30 year old daughter. Who battles addiction. And is incarcerated at Silverdale.

The love Catherine and her husband Paul have for the grand kids is endless. So are the challenges.

“We stand in the shower and cry. It’s grief. We’ve lost our older children. There are lots of different tentacles to this. As much as we love these kids, it’s hard. Of course, the kids don’t see this. They know they are loved.”

Back when she gained custody of the kids, Catherine went looking for a support group. What she found were groups that were too large. Or simply no groups that were there for grandparents.

So Catherine Becker started her own group. The “Joys And Challenges Of Relative Caregivers.”

It has grown exponentially. All across America, to include Canada. These grandparents meet online. Everyday. Helping one another. Supporting. Educating.

“We are all very good friends. We talk every day. We chat. Have coffee together. We play games online. Night or day, there’s someone to talk to.”

Catherine now has a gofundme account. And is in the process of building a non-profit. She hopes to have it up and running by the first of the year.

A non-profit that will help grandparents with just about every need: clothing, supplies, babysitters…..even how to do hair.

But even though Catherine’s “cup runneth over”…..the reality of her situation…..for all grandparents in her shoes…..is concerning.

“We worry about when we get older. I’ll be 78 years old when the baby graduates from high school. What happens then? Well, they go to foster care. So we have a concern. All we can do is try and stay healthy.

For more information, contact Catherine Becker on Facebook: Joys And Challenges Of Relative Caregivers. Or call her: 706-944-3454.

Catherines message? We grandparents are here. You are not alone.

From Rossville, Dave Staley, News 12.

Categories: Catoosa County, Featured, Local News, More To The Story With Staley