https://www.glwd.org/blog/client-spotlight-dahlia/

1.16.14 / Clients

Client Spotlight: Dahlia

Our client, Dahlia, is the proud mother of three children. While making motherhood her priority she worked as a caretaker in a group home. Providing love and support while attending to the needs of others was how Dahlia lived her life for many years.
But when she was diagnosed with lupus, everything changed. Dahlia now needed someone to care for her.

Dahlia grew up in Jamaica, the youngest of four children. She and her siblings grew up playing among the fruit trees. Their mother took them to church on Saturdays, as they were Seventh Day Adventists. She attended public and private
school. When she finished school, Dahlia moved to New York to be near family.

Dahlia always worked hard in everything that she did. As an adult, she would wake up at 6 a.m. to make breakfast for her children. Then she would take her son to school and go shopping for dinner. Once home, she would clean her house from top to bottom, and cook dinner for her children so it was ready when they got home from school. At 3pm, Dahlia would leave to go to work at the group home, and would return near midnight. Once home, she would figure out what the next day’s meals would look like and go to bed around 1 or 2 in the morning. Every day was the same routine.

Dahlia was always an extremely active mom, with shopping, cooking, laundry and other responsibilities. But when she
started to feel ill, everything fell apart. In October 2011, Dahlia collapsed and was diagnosed with lupus. Her exhaustion pulled at her bones and muscles and left her weak. She could no longer shop or cook. She struggled to dress herself and take care of everyday household tasks. After her recovery from her collapse, Dahlia spent days in a wheelchair. In the chair, with a young son at home, Dahlia struggled to do simple tasks by herself. She had to stop working.

There was no food on the table and she could barely take care of her children, she was so weak. Dahlia says, “I was such an independent person, taking care of everything and everyone, and then all of a sudden, everything changed.” In March of 2012, Dahlia called God’s Love. “I spoke to someone, and told them of my condition and what I was going through. They said yes, I could get meals. I was desperate, and it changed my life.”

Immediately, Dahlia was able to better support her nine-year-old son, knowing he was receiving our nutritious meals, too. She says, “I don’t know where my family would be without God’s Love. These meals help us survive, rather than suffer.”

“I am so grateful because I couldn’t feed myself, I couldn’t cook … I couldn’t do anything. I was so hungry. Having the
food cooked for me and my child, and delivered to my door has changed my life. I can feel myself getting a little bit
stronger, every day. I am more alert and not as tired.”

Dahlia appreciates the individually tailored meals she receives from God’s Love, which have less spice and salt, to
accommodate her needs. She says, “I used to eat very spicy food so it was a good transition for me to move to
healthier food, without all these additives. Less spicy food is better on my stomach and my body. I eat less salt which is good for me.”

Dahlia is filled with hope, now that she is receiving our meals and feeling stronger. She says, “It’s a good feeling to know
that somebody cares, somebody is coming to make sure that I have food to eat. I just want to say thanks. I’m getting better and that is what is important.”

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