Primary caregivers in the United States

Brenda Donovan was 12 when her mother was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and by her senior year in high school, she’d become her mother’s primary caregiver. Like most young people thrust into that role, she had little training or support. (Photo by Madeline Bautista/Cronkite News) Brenda Donovan keeps a photo of her mother, Kathy, in her Mesa home. Donovan was in high school when she became primary caregiver to her mom. There potentially are millions of young caregivers like her in the U.S. (Photo by Madeline Bautista/Cronkite News) Brenda Donovan of Mesa struggled with depression at a young age and believes it was related to becoming her mother’s caregiver. Research shows that child caregivers tend to have more anxiety and depression than their peers. (Photo by Madeline Bautista/Cronkite News) Sixteen-year-old Kaylin Jean-Louis of ​​Tallahassee, Florida, started an effort to help young caregivers after providing secondary care to her grandmother and great-grandmother starting at age 10. Kaylin is pictured here at 15 years old, with her grandmother, Vera Johnson, left, and her great-grandmother, Julie Powell. (Photos courtesy of Kaylin Jean-Louis)