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Politics & Government

Nemours joins “Hidden Helpers" work to help disabled veterans

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Delaware Public Media
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A Delaware health system and a family it serves are playing a key role in a new nationwide effort to support military families.

Nemours Children’s Health is joining the “Hidden Helpers" coalition. The group is developing a national model to address the needs of families, especially children, caring for a disabled veteran.

These “hidden helpers” were honored at the White House Wednesday. They included a Dover wife and mother, Silvia Lopez, who says caring for her husband Alex has taken a toll on their five children.

All my children have attended therapy to cope with their emotions,” she said. “They’ve struggled socially, because I can’t leave my husband’s side and he can’t go to birthday parties, malls or crowded movie theaters. And some of Alex’s flashbacks are so violent that every kid has a place in the house to hide.”

Lopez also serves as an advocate for family caregivers in the Hispanic community.

There are 2.3 million children living with a disabled veteran in the U.S.

The new coalition aims to ensure services for family caregivers are available and easily accessible and to increase understanding of the sacrifices family caregivers make.

The event at the White House was hosted by First Lady Jill Biden. Biden said, “From a young age, hidden helpers learn the cost of our wars up close.” She added, “Supporting our caregivers is critical to our national security. Our troops and their families need to know that if they ever face injuries, illnesses or wounds, we will have your back.”

Nemours Children’s Health President and CEO R. Lawrence Moss also attended the event. In addition to Nemours, the coalition includes sixty other private and public organizations, including the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. In her remarks, Dole thanked Moss by name and said, “For the first time (health care) providers will have the tools they need to support and care for our hidden helpers.”