|"It was helpful at least to know|
that my kids had something."
In 2010, after purchasing a home, Denise became sick. To make matters worse, she lost her job that August. By October of 2010, Denise was diagnosed with a blood disease that required her to undergo harsh chemotherapy treatments.
Eventually, her pricey doctor appointments soon replaced her budget for groceries, forcing Denise to rely on a limited amount of food stamps. With four children, graduate school courses, frequent hospital visits and a lack of income, food was a major hurdle in Denise’s life. In time, the southern-style meals that Denise loved to cook for her kids slowly stopped making their way to the dinner table. Her daughter, a teenager at the time, became her nurse and prepared meals to ensure her mother received adequate nutrition.
“At the time, I couldn’t be out around other people,” says Denise. “I had to send my kids to the grocery store and they weren’t used to getting food on their own.”
With the help of a social worker at Georgetown Medical Center, Denise was connected to Food & Friends after she began chemotherapy.
“Between 2010 and 2011, I was in the hospital for at least 10 months. But Food & Friends really helped me because I wasn’t home. It was helpful at least to know that my kids had something.”
For the past four years, Food & Friends has come to Denise’s aid during times when she needed it most. She recalls the volunteers who she says are always in good spirits – they kept her smiling and hopeful throughout her struggle.
Now that she is recovering slowly, Denise is getting back into the kitchen where she says “southern food with a kick” is her specialty. With groceries no longer being an obstacle, Denise enjoys preparing food for her kids, even if it simply involves heating up a Food & Friends dinner.
Four years after her diagnosis, Denise is becoming reacquainted with her neighborhood. The mother of four is now searching for a new job, still attending Catholic University, and even takes cooking classes at Food & Friends’ facility. With the help of our frequent meal deliveries, Denise continues to inspire us with her phenomenal story.