I never thought it could happen to me. For 40 years, I had a successful career. Then I lost my job, my insurance, and almost my life.
I had always worked – I ran a drug store chain, sold medical equipment, owned several companies. But I got laid off in the recession, when no one was hiring. Within 18 months, my life’s savings was gone.
Healthy food wasn’t affordable, so my diabetes and high blood pressure flared up. That triggered Bell’s Palsy, which paralyzed my face. I lost several teeth and went partially blind.
Every day I looked for a job, but in that condition, I wasn’t employable. I felt worthless, had no strength left. Each day I wondered if it would be my last.
Then I found the Community Health Clinic, which provides free healthcare to those in poverty. Attacking each ailment methodically, they helped me become productive again in just a few months.
More importantly, they restored my dignity. Every person who comes through the door is treated with respect, regardless of circumstances. It’s life-changing!
Now I work at the clinic and volunteer on their board. I’m paying it forward, because I would not be alive without United Way agencies like the clinic – and donors who choose to LIVE UNITED.