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As Unique as a Thumbprint

Feb 25, 2020 07:00AM ● By MED Magazine
Patti Auch and Chad Hohwieler

In their mission to ‘enable the restoration of the gifts of sight and health’, grief is something the professionals at Dakota Lions Sight and Health inevitably encounter. As the region’s long-standing eye and tissue bank, DLSH provides a host of resources intended to support donor families after the loss of a loved one. 

This summer, they added one more: a podcast on grief. “Grief is as Unique as Your Own Thumbprint” is the brainchild of DLSH Family Care Coordinator Patti Auch and Community Outreach Coordinator Chad Hohwieler. Auch hosts the podcast and Hohwieler, who spent years in local radio as Chad “Mackenzie”, produces it. 

“Sometimes, I only get one or two chances to talk to a family after the loss of their loved one,” says Auch. “I loved the idea of having a way to give them ongoing support. This is not about donation. We are just trying to give a spark of hope to people. There is a lot of pain and sadness out there.”

With Hohwieler’s encouragement, Auch, whose background is in nursing, agreed to give podcasting a try. In the first few episodes, she simply shares what she has learned about grief and grieving during her tenure at DLSH and as a small town nurse working in geriatrics. She covers topics such as suicide and managing grief during the holidays. 

More recent episodes feature interviews with people who have had their own experience of loss. One of those guests is Hohwieler himself who lost his 20-year-old son to a rare heart condition in 2010.

“There is just something about the human voice that people really connect to,” says Hohwieler. “I think Patti has a real gift there. She has a very calm manner and she gets the point across. Anyone who has suffered a loss - which is nearly everyone - will get something out of these podcasts.”

“We are really just trying to be an avenue of support to anyone who needs it,” says Auch. “We want them to know that grief is about mustering the courage to mourn. We encourage them to find their own way through it.”

“Grief is an Unique as Your Own Thumbprint” can be found at, on, and on Apple iTunes.