Senior Citizen Updates: Joan
We all have responsibilities in our lives. Some have the responsibility of looking after loved ones who need extra attention. Some have the responsibilities associated with a stressful job which leaves them little time for anything else. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that we hope that our winter years are a time for us to relax. We dream of a life of leisure and independence, where we can retire from our jobs and reflect on the good times of our life. For many, this fantasy could not be farther from reality. In our Senior Citizen Project we have the good fortune to meet many different seniors and hear their stories. Sadly, many of them have been forced into circumstances where they cannot enjoy growing old in ease and comfort. One senior who comes to mind is your sponsored senior, Joann. Joann will be turning 71 this year, the age when most people retire from their careers. As you will see, this is not an age when Joann will have time to relax. We are very grateful that you empower us to bring solace into Joann’s life and we wanted to share some of this woman’s story with you.
Joann had responsibility thrust on her at a very young age. She grew up on the south side of Chicago in a tight knit family, but tragedy struck when she was only five years old. Both of her parents were killed in an accident and Joann and her siblings had to learn to look after each other, and themselves. This is a theme which has continued throughout Joann’s life. She was married at one time, but her husband abandoned her while their children were still small and she raised them alone. She provided for the family by working at the National Opinion Research Center, but money was tight and she had little to put away each month.
She looked forward to being able to relax as she grew older, but another tragedy robbed her of this dream. Joann’s son was diagnosed with cancer of the liver so Joann selflessly decided to leave her job to take care of his daughter. She is happy to report that her son’s cancer is in remission, but says that it has been a stressful year as the family waited for test result after test result, never 100% sure if he was going to survive. Her son has also been unable to find work, putting further financial strain on Joann. On an income of $623 a month you can imagine that this financial strain isn’t something that Joann needs in her life! She barely has enough money as it is to cover her subsidized rent of $153 a month, her medical bills for emphysema, kidney medication and macular degeneration and the costs of raising a teenage daughter.
When we met Joann in 2002 we knew we could make a difference in her life and the life of her granddaughter. We are confident that no matter what befalls them they will never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. Joann says she is truly grateful for our service, and loves having a secret pal who buys gifts for her each month. We feel privileged that we have been able to join with you to bring comfort to this woman who has always had so much stress in her life. Together we can help ease the dire circumstances of Joann and her family.
Things to Remember about Joann:
- Joann’s birthday is May 6, 1939.
- She enjoys reading.
- She likes fish, chicken and salad.
- Her income is $623 a month.