Hi Everyone! I’m Carol Estrada, a doctoral student of Human Development at Fielding Graduate University. I am the researcher for The Abbreviated Life Study. Conducting original research, such as this, is just one of the requirements in order to earn a Ph.D.
My story began close to 15 years ago when my youngest son, JC, at age 19, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage IV-B. He was a university student, alive and excited about the future of his life. A short three years later he had to confront the fact that he was dying. He rather poignantly summed up his predicament with his last Facebook post “so stuck ... where the f* is my luck?”.
I know of our family’s experience and in particular, my experience as a mom, a caregiver, a bereaved parent, and now as a researcher … but was that experience typical or atypical? I feel there is a pressing need to know, in order to better serve.
When I am not actively involved in the academic world of higher education and publishing, I work as a private Learning Specialist with younger students in a 1:1 setting - in schools, after school, and now, due to Covid-19, virtually. I approach this work from a neurodevelopmental lens helping children and adolescents succeed both at school and in life.
My young grandchildren are a big part of my life. I'm fortunate to live near two of them (John, 7 and Athena, 1). I enjoy time with them a few times each week. The ones that live abroad (Jacqueline, 3; Hemingway, 2; and Forest, 1) don't get as much of my time as I would like, but they are none-the-less loved and time with them is precious!
All of the above keep me smiling, happy, and feeling like I am doing my part to make this world a better place for all of us.
If you’d like to know anything else, ask away.