“I was on the other side of the desk, working for a health care system down the road. When people called for mammograms or other services, I would refer them to Healing Hands. Then I lost my job after 25 years. It took them five minutes to say, ‘You’ve lost your job’ and five minutes for me to pack up my things and go home. In the course of a conversation, someone said, ‘Well Marcia, now that you’re not working and you don’t have any insurance, we will refer you to Healing Hands.’
“The first time I walked in, I had my tail between my legs and I was feeling really defeated. All of a sudden I was on the other side of the desk with the people that I knew, people that I had referred to Healing Hands in the first place. The first time was very difficult for me. I saw people I knew and it was hard to interact with them. After that, you kind of kick your pride aside.
“You hear and you read in the media about people who have to choose between buying something to eat or buying their medication, and you can sympathize with that. Suddenly, I found myself on the other side of that and it was a rude awakening for me. God is very good, this is a place of faith and I am a woman of strong faith. I am very grateful that I got hooked up with a place where their faith is paramount.
“These doctors, nurses and other people volunteer their time and talents to give me medical care and help me with pain management. One of the things I love most about Healing Hands is the continuity of care. When I come here, I always see the same doctors, and I am not having to repeat my medical history over and over again to someone new. These doctors know me by my first name. They know my history and I don’t have to go over it every time. The people here are caregivers, they give you what you need. They don’t take away your dignity. They let you keep your sense of self. You aren’t just another number here. You are a person and they make you feel like the only person in the world.
“There is a reason that things happen the way they do. We are either going into the storm, in the middle of the storm, or coming out of it. And when you are in the middle of the storm, you don’t think that you are ever getting out of it. It can be gloom and doom if you want it to be, but you know what, it doesn’t have to be. Some days are easier than others, but I am very grateful to have a place where the people are compassionate and give quality care.
“I am a mother, grandmother and aunt. I could very easily be a part of any family and the tables turned on me, just that quick. It could happen to anyone. Now, I don’t have to choose whether my family and I are going to eat or if I am going to buy one of my maintenance medicines. I can’t say enough good about this place. I am so grateful for everything they’ve done for me, and will continue to be for the rest of my life.”