Meet De'Anglene Johnson

Tell us about yourself.

I’ve been married to my husband Kyle for five years, and we have a beautiful four-year-old daughter named Kendall. Besides working part-time for Firefly, I’m also a massage therapist for the Notre Dame Athletic Department.

Why are you a caregiver in addition to being a massage therapist?

Being a caregiver is my happy place. Once you work in the healthcare field, it changes from you helping clients to them helping you. I learn a lot from my clients—I’m honored when they share their life stories with me.

What has a client taught you?

I enjoy doing crafts, but I didn’t know how to use a sewing machine. My client, Dorothy, sewed clothes for her children. She was the perfect person to ask how to use my sewing machine. She helped me, and now I’m trying to learn how to make facemasks.

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What other crafts do you do?

I have a small candle company and make hair bows for my daughter that I also sell. I crochet, bedazzle, and make shirts. I just finished making a pair of boots bedazzled with rhinestones and pearls for my daughter.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love to travel. Since I married Kyle, we’ve been to Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Bahamas, Mexico, and seventeen states. Our goal is to visit the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and see all fifty states. We’ve been to one of the Seven Wonders—Chichén-Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico—and we took our daughter.

What’s your favorite activity to do with clients?

I enjoy working with dementia clients, especially doing puzzles and working to engage them in conversation. We have many VA clients and they all have war stories. It’s interesting to hear the history of what they are willing to share.

What one of DeAnglene’s clients has to say about her:

“De’Anglene has been coming to see me for several years. She’s a very nice young lady and I’m very comfortable with her. She helps me get dressed in the morning or ready for bed at night and makes sure I’ve taken my medication. Sometimes she helps me with crossword puzzles, we watch TV, or we sit and talk. I enjoy talking to her and hearing about her little girl.”