Client Sheila

Sheila’s Story: The Value of Hope and Inspiration

Welcome Home

About two years ago, I ended up in the hospital after falling in the shower and contracting a terrible case of septic pneumonia which could have been deadly. Luckily, the good people at Kaiser and Jill, my wonderful social worker from Linkages, connected me with Food For Thought. Through the Welcome Home Program, I was able to receive healthy groceries and recover at home. I am very appreciative of the support that I received from the staff and volunteers.

Giving to others has always been a source of great joy for me. From my work as a musician, poet and author, to the volunteer work that I have done providing musical therapy to veterans, I try to show kindness and compassion to everyone. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, I’ve had some very serious medical issues that have limited my work helping others and I have had to be on the receiving end of support. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory

disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue including the hands, feet and in my case, the lungs. There is no cure for the condition, but I had been able to manage it. In June of 2021, I suffered a debilitating attack which put me in the hospital again. Once again, FFT was there for me.

It was a great comfort to me to know that I would be able to receive the food that I needed to recover at home. I can’t say enough positive things about the program or the team at FFT. Every week, I get a call from a volunteer named Mark, who is so supportive and fun to chat with on the phone. He makes a point to remember what is going on in my life and the foods that I like. When you are suffering from a chronic illness, it can be very humbling, and you often feel that you don’t have control over anything. This program is designed to give people choice and I love that it includes so many fresh fruits and vegetables.

Being able to select what you would like to eat and having it delivered by kind people provides me a deep sense of dignity. It may seem like a small thing, but it is so wonderful. I grew up in post-World War II England, where it was important to have “a stiff upper lip” and be self-sufficient. While I can compassionately offer aid to others, it is difficult for me to ask for help. My experience made me keenly aware of the predicament of many other disabled seniors.

I am now an advocate for those who are not seen and have no voice. I am especially appreciative of the help that FFT provides to seniors. If my illness has taught me anything, it has been to be more patient and kinder to myself. It is much easier to do that if you have thoughtful support. For me, life is a spiritual journey and I have found that providing people with hope and inspiration is very important. I truly value the support that FFT and others have provided me. “This program is designed to give people choice and I love that it includes so many fresh fruits and vegetables.”

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