As most of you know, Bianca Barger has been in the hospital four times since last March.

First at Providence for acute kidney failure, then for severe shingles, then again for shingles. Now she is in Alaska Regional Hospital for a multitude of problems. I wanted her to go back to Providence where she has nearly always been treated with genuine care and concern.

Long story as to why she’s at ARH this time. I have never seen doctors who had no concern or compassion for their patients before. Fortunately, the nursing staff has been wonderful!

But the doctors get to make the decisions, not the nurses. Well, that’s a whole other story.

What I’m really writing to say is that Bianca has been so very delighted with all of the get-well cards all of you in Skagway have sent. We all know that “checking her mail” everyday is a big deal to Bianca. You have lifted her spirits! Thank you so very much! Your continuous cards are what she looks forward to the most everyday!

I will briefly outline Bianca’s “problems:” she has had Stage 3 Kidney Disease for about 10 years now.

The most important thing she can do is remain hydrated. Bianca has what is known as normal

pressure glaucoma. That means that although the many eye drops that’s she’s on are doing their job of keeping her eye pressure normal. Usually, that’s all a glaucoma patient needs. But we found out about 3 years ago that she has normal tension/pressure, and her optic nerve is still continuing to erode. According to the eye doctor, Bianca has lost about 92 percent of her vision. She can see about eight inches in front of her, and has no peripheral vision at all. I bought her a digitalized magnifier a few years ago. You just keep pushing the button until it gets to a size you can see. Bianca can now read about one word at a time. But, I’ll tell you, she sure rolls with the punches and has never once complained. She still reads for hours everyday! She walked slowly with her walker for years now, but now she can’t see where she’s walking, which is why now someone has to walk with her and hold on to the front of her walker to guide her.

Some people think Bianca should live in Anchorage, where there are “so many services.”

HA! Most services have waiting lists a mile long. In fact she’s been on a waiting list just to take an art class at ARCA for eleven years now. Getting her to and from anywhere is an absolute nightmare for her and me both. And I really don’t like for people to offer advice, when they don’t have a clue as to the whole picture. I wish people would ask me, or Bianca, what would she like help with, or what she would like to do. She may have a lot of problems, but she is not stupid, or unaware of things.

Bianca wants to come back to Skagway as soon as possible. I agree with her decision.

She gets so much help and love and attention in Skagway. Except for an occasional need for in-patient hospital treatment, Bianca is so much better off in Skagway. It’s safer, friendlier and she considers you as loving, caring people! In Anchorage, I have tried for years to get her hooked up with services, which is just not working out. And most of us prefer to have friends rather than service providers, anyway.

So again, thank you for all the cards and prayers! It has meant the world to both Bianca and me!

Very sincerely, Cheryl Barger