http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/12/05/holiday-fund-when-all-else-fails


Almanac

Community - December 5, 2012

Holiday Fund: When all else fails

Gifts to the Almanac's Holiday Fund help the Ecumenical Hunger Program and nine other community organizations.

This is a story by a client of the Ecumenical Hunger Program named Tamika.

There are several life-changing events that have occurred since I moved to California. Some of them were enough to send me running back to my family on the East Coast. However, I was determined to start a new life, and raise my son in a place of culture and opportunity.

When we came to California, I was excited and in love. But within a month, after an unhappy and abusive relationship, my son and I were living in a domestic violence shelter. I was frightened and angry, and felt alone. However, I kept holding on. Then, I began to focus on the baby that was growing inside of me. One day I started having a great deal of pain, and ended up going to the emergency room. I was told that I would probably lose my baby. I left the hospital sad but still holding on. Shortly after that I miscarried.

I was still determined to have a good life here in California. As a matter of fact, I was even more committed to the idea.

Then, after noticing pain under my right arm and increasing pain in that arm, I knew something was wrong. I had never been so afraid in my life. After having a biopsy done, I was diagnosed with cancer. The cancer quickly spread and I was told I had Stage IV metastatic cancer. My oncologist told me I didn't have long to live. That was it. I had had it. It was time for me to live.

I spoke with a dear friend, and he told me about an organization that he thought would be able to help me. I called and spoke with the director of the organization, Ms. Lesia Preston. She was so understanding, caring, and made me feel completely at ease. I was immediately placed on a waiting list that would provide me with greatly needed items once I moved into my own place.

Ecumenical Hunger Program gave my son and me clothing, food, kitchen items and more. I was so grateful and overcome with joy. It is very expensive and hard when you are starting completely over. I was spared the expense of so many needed items.

Yet, it was becoming harder and harder for me to get around. I had so many doctor's appointments and most of them were a good distance from my house. I was often sick and had to catch BART and then walk from there to our new apartment. I had to do what I had to do, and just be patient.

Then I received an e-mail from Lesia. I will never forget it. It simply stated: Are you in need of a car? I screamed and cried!

After connecting with her, I knew that I was again going to be blessed by this wonderful organization.

Today I am able to drive to my appointments, go to the grocery store, take my son back and forth to school, etc., etc.

EHP has been more than a blessing in my life, and for that I will be eternally thankful. They truly care about their clients and it shows. Everyone I have come in contact with has treated me with such love and care.

I have been accepted into nursing school, and thanks to EHP providing me with transportation, I am even closer to attending!

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