Caregiver of the Year recipient a deserving honoree
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Feb. 13, 2004 -- In an emotional presentation, Cathy Chitwood, representing the Pilot Club of Sulphur Springs, honored Johnny Dobson with the club's first Caregiver of the Year award at Thursday night's Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet.

Dobson was cited for the loving care he has given his wife, who has suffered with Alzheimer's disease for 12 years.

"As well as the personal care of [his wife], this caregiver does the cooking, makes the beds, cleans the house, does the laundry and buys the groceries with this individual at his side," Mrs. Chitwood said in making the presentation. "This caregiver is described as a devoted father, loving husband, community leader and a man of God. He gives care with a cheerful heart, a sweet spirit and incredible selflessness."

Not only has Dobson provided complete care for his wife, he has undergone heart surgery that involved five bypasses. A few years later he underwent surgery for cancer, and in his latest battle, he has received chemotherapy and radiation with yet another bout with cancer.

Chitwood described this year's Caregiver as an inspiration and role model to many.

"The Caregiver of the Year Award is to honor and recognize you as a special individual for your personal sacrifice and generous love while providing voluntary care for someone else," she said.

In accepting the award, Johnny Dobson introduced his children who have also played a significant role in providing care for his wife. He also gave special recognition to his mother-in-law who, at 96 years of age, drives several times each week to Sulphur Springs to provide assistance in the home.

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