Stacey Atkins, Spiritual Director

About Stacey Atkins, Certified Spiritual Director

Stacey works with people from all types of backgrounds who have all kinds of life experiences and concerns. Major life transitions such as divorce, job changes, death of a loved one or feeling lost spiritually usually send people seeking a spiritual guide. Stacey is, however, uniquely qualified to work with those who are experiencing life-threatening illnesses and those who are caring for them.

In 2004 Stacey was diagnosed with AML Leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant that same year. The doctors, nurses, other medical staff, and the social workers were outstanding while she was in the hospital and under their care, yet nothing prepared her for the aftermath of the traumatic event.

There are countless physical side effects from a transplant that the doctors may or may not be aware of. They are as numerous as there are patients. The emotional side effects are very personal and often different for each survivor. Unfortunately, many of these issues last the rest of a survivor’s life, often classified as a post-traumatic stress disorder. Once one is released from treatments there is no one to catch them on the other side and help them continue to heal or learn how to live the “new normal” one has heard about.

She realized that the best way for her to heal is to go deep into the spiritual aspects of life. She helps others continue to survive and have a deeply meaningful “new normal” life by listening deeply and non-judgmentally.

The role of caregiver is another area she knows intimately. In 1999 her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. While she lived far away from him, she was able to make frequent trips to see him. During those visits, she would take him to his treatments and doctor appointments. She also helped him prepare his world for his impending death.

In 2004, one month after Stacey was diagnosed with Leukemia, her mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Her mother was in the cancer ward of the hospital on the 6th floor while Stacey was in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit on the 4th floor. They were seen by the same group of doctors so they often scheduled their visits at the same time so they could go together. When she was home recovering, her mother stayed with her at the apartment she shared with her brother. While he was at work during the day Stacey was caring for her mother.

There are many unique facets to being seriously ill and to being a caregiver for someone who is seriously ill. Stacey is well-qualified to help in both of these situations.