Pass It On: Returning the favor to a caretaker who’s now sick

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When loved ones are terminally ill, there often comes a point when their care becomes too much to handle. So, we rely on professionals to help in their final days.

In this week's Pass It On, our playmaker wants to thank one of those professionals who's having his own health issues.

Meet playmaker Melodye Ruby, who wants to pass it on to caretaker Charles Berry.

First, her father was sick with pancreatic cancer.

"Once he had the stroke, my mother nor I could move him, and I thought I gotta call Charles."

Then several years later, her mother got sick and needed care.

"My mother has previously been diagnosed with lung cancer, and in January it moved to her brain and I could no longer take care of her, so I called Charles and he was there."

What Melodye didn't know at the time was that Charles was in the hospital when she called, so he was going to have to send one of his co-workers to care for her mom. Charles has been on dialysis for years and had recently developed a staph infection "which kept him unable to walk ... who needs takin' care of now."

Melodye says Charles is back home from the hospital, and she's ready to Pass It On with $600.

Melodye thanks Charles for all the families he's helped care for over the years, including hers.

Charles says he became a caretaker because of the friendships he's made over 32 years.

"I guess I did something right," Charles says.

"You did a lot right."

Melodye says it felt so good to give back: "It was rewarding ... hour of need."

Charles has made caretaking a family affair. His niece Lashundra was there as Melodye passed it on to Charles, and there are four other nieces and four sisters who also help out.

His niece said it's "in the family's genes to help others."

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