Wanda's Story

Wanda’s husband has been receiving treatments at Community Health Network for multiple myeloma, a type of bone cancer, since March of 2014. Shortly after his diagnosis, the doctors also found he had congestive heart failure and needed a pacemaker.

Seniors can qualify for free meals in some of our cafeterias.

For the couple, it was a lot of bad news all at once.

Wanda is her husband’s only caregiver, and the first six months of his hospitalizations, surgery and cancer treatments left her feeling depleted and depressed. There were days of pushing his wheelchair when she wasn’t sure if she could take the next step.

Yet, she found the help they needed at Community.

Her husband’s treatments require him to be at the hospital two or three times a week, staying between four and eight hours at a stretch. In the beginning, they were often very hungry because they simply could not afford to eat out or pay for food from the cafeteria.

They are both retired and do not have family around to help, so they did their best to manage. Matters were further complicated by the fact that Wanda is a diabetic, and the situation was beginning to put her health in jeopardy.

Wanda saw a poster in the hospital about Community’s À la Carte Senior Meal Program and realized she and her husband really needed it.

She recalls that it was not difficult to sign up. Their situation met all of the criteria, and they were thrilled when they began to receive food vouchers for the cafeteria.

For Wanda and her husband, the food provides nutrition and so much more. The walk to the cafeteria gives her a break from sitting, giving her an opportunity to get some exercise and interact with other people.

Moreover, the program has helped them in a way that also preserves their dignity. As Wanda said, “I don’t feel like it’s charity. I feel like someone cares.”

Will you help support programs that assist seniors with basic needs?

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