When Valarie Maddox was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, her two young daughters needed MANNA’s support as well. Valarie avowed, “The meals are great because I am a single mother and I live with my two daughters. To see the strain on my daughters and their worry because I was always the cook in my house, the MANNA meals helped to take the pressure off of them knowing I was taken care of.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the incidence continues to rise steadily with over 1 million new cases and almost half a million deaths annually. Currently the direct cause of breast cancer is not known; education, awareness and early detection remain as the key components to combating this disease. October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when people across the world increase awareness of the disease and fundraise to support research in search of a cure.
In 2007 MANNA partnered with the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia organization to provide medically-appropriate meals to hundreds of women and families battling breast cancer. This partnership ensured access to nutritious meals early in their treatment, increasing their chances of survival. Since 2007, MANNA has nourished back to health over 500 individuals diagnosed with breast cancer.
“MANNA has helped me so much with their meal program. When I was too tired to cook I was able to heat up a meal which helped me a lot. I felt like if I didn’t have MANNA, my nutrition would not have been as good,” MANNA client Chanel Royster noted.
Charlene Callicut, a current MANNA client agreed, “MANNA has provided me a lot of support since day one. It really helped me with my eating and providing me with nutritious food. The type of food that they are sending me is good food, and it tastes good too.”
For more information on ways that you can become involved with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, go to www.komenphiladelphia.org.
Even in the 100 degree temperatures, Mike Breslin is on the road again! As a faithful volunteer driver, Mike logs miles every week delivering nourishing meals to MANNA clients who are too sick to shop and cook themselves.
“I see how difficult life is for some people. It makes you realize how important your health is,” Mike acknowledged. “And I like that MANNA is not income based – it is just about HEALTH.”
This summer, MANNA drivers will deliver over 200,000 meals. Volunteer drivers like Mike are an essential part of this workforce. Not only do they help provide crucial MANNA services, but they are often a lifeline of support to clients too sick to go out. They deliver hope, encouragement and love.
One of the MANNA clients Mike delivered to has summed it up this way: “When I got sick, I gave up part of my identity. I lost the ability to go out, to connect in the community. MANNA brings that back to me.”
When Mike retired, volunteering was one of the goals he set for himself. MANNA’s many clients are thankful he did! Not everyone has time to deliver meals – there are other ways to help MANNA deliver 200,000+ meals this summer. We got a ton a ideas – click here to find out how you can help! #FoodisMedicine
Cancer does not take a week off. There is no rest from HIV/AIDS. Renal disease does not let up. MANNA clients battle their illnesses each day, every day, all summer long.
This summer, MANNA client Celestine will travel only as far as her dialysis center. It’s a short trip, but it’s arduous and difficult for her. Intense leg pain. Calcification of her blood vessels. Unbearably painful lesions. Chronic kidney disease has ravaged Celestine. Standing and walking are hard, hard work.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful MANNA has been to me and how faithfully they’ve delivered my meals every week. I feel so blessed to have found out about MANNA and to receive their help. I’m getting my strength back. I’m starting to gain weight. You can’t know how important that is. I had just stopped eating. I didn’t have the strength or the desire to eat. But now I have so many good things in my refrigerator” says Celestine.
MANNA meals are a constant reminder that we care – all of us – and that a helping of hope and targeted nutrition CAN change a sick neighbor’s battle into a successful one. Help us deliver over 200,000+ meals to neighbors in need – donate today!