As a former magician’s assistant, Cheryl Crofoot Knapp tried hard to not get sliced into three parts; and yet, where magicians failed—life prevailed.
Her multifaceted journey has ushered her from her reign as Mrs. Minnesota-America 1996 to years of compassionate caregiving with interesting stops along the way that have included ministering in a Level 3 men’s prison, ride-alongs with firefighters, zip-lining, and public speaking.
Knowing from an early age she wanted to write, Cheryl always found or created opportunities to do just that. She jump-started her literary career with an elementary school newsletter in the third grade, moved on to pen a sixth grade play, and later served as editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper. She works remotely as a U.S. patent paralegal for a Minnesota law firm from her winter home in Arkansas and her summer home in Wisconsin, and writes as often as she can.
After twenty years of bouncing between technical and creative writing, not knowing what story she absolutely had to tell, her lifelong dream to become an author emerged from a heart-breaking, life-altering experience as an Alzheimer’s caregiver for both her parents. Her non-fiction book, Undefeated Innocence tells of how a daughter’s tender journey explores Biblical truth in caregiving for two parents with Alzheimer’s.
“Alzheimer’s caregiving taught me that I couldn’t make my mom fit into my world; rather, I had to learn how to fit into hers.”
Cheryl’s passion is to find various means to come alongside family caregivers during what could be the hardest and most isolated time of their lives. “There are some amazing dementia support groups, and I’ve had the pleasure of speaking twice to a local gathering of caregivers; however, because it’s hard for them to leave the ones for whom they care, there is a need for a support group that comes to them. My immediate hope and endeavor is to create weekly online classes and interactive groups where caregivers can be educated, gain a greater sense of community, and ultimately know that they are not alone.”
While working on the concept for her next book, Cheryl writes devotions for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN.com) and a column that focuses on caregiving for parents in the online quarterly magazine, Broken But Priceless.
She invites you to connect with her on her website at https://cherylcrofootknapp.com, and her book can be purchased at her Amazon Author page.
All in all, the parts of Cheryl Crofoot Knapp’s life have come together, and if you’d ask her the reason, she’d tell you, “Nothing that I do now would have any significance if I hadn’t first accepted Christ as Savior.”
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This post reminded me of a story I wrote recently for my straight job, Lesley University. Perhaps these two authors’ lives and work will one day intersect. https://lesley.edu/news/fighting-alzheimers-disease-with-improv-and-empathy
Thank you, John for sharing your excellent and sobering article. Very wise and practical advice for caregivers. This disease is a horrible thief that affects so many. I pray her 10 to 15 years projection is right…if not sooner. Thank you again. Merry Christmas!