Many members of our community are struggling to manage serious health challenges. Jennie, a patient of the clinic, recently shared how she is facing health issues with the clinic’s assistance.

A few years ago Jennie’s husband of 25 years was killed in a tragic accident. He earned most of the family’s income and had a job that provided them with good health insurance. In the blink of an eye, everything changed.

Shortly after her husband’s death, Jennie came to the Free Clinic of Culpeper complaining of frequent severe headaches. The diagnosis was grim; a cerebral mass that turned out to be brain cancer. Despite the seriousness of her illness, lack of health insurance and recent loss of her husband, Jennie was determined to beat the cancer and so far she is doing just that.

Jennie’s medical care needs are ongoing. After her surgery, she began to have frequent seizures. For now, the seizures are mostly under control, but the side effects are troubling. She has little feeling in her feet and often loses her balance. Jennie also has insulin-dependent diabetes that requires regular monitoring, a special diet, and daily blood testing.

Jennie works two part time jobs and regularly works over 50 hours a week. Neither job pays much or offers benefits, but between the two she has been able to keep her home and put food on the table. There is little money left over at the end of the month and nowhere near enough to cover her medical expenses.

Beyond the cost of her frequent doctors’ visits — at the Free Clinic and with her neurologist and oncologist — Jennie’s medications cost a small fortune. Each day she takes nearly a dozen medications prescribed to manage her medical challenges.

Despite her difficult circumstances, Jennie perseveres and has seldom missed a shift at either of her jobs. She is quick with a smile, and her smile is one that would melt your heart.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Jennie has access to medical care and prescriptions. Every gift makes a difference, enabling Jennie and other members of our community to get the care they need to manage their health.

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