Donna needs a kidney. She can’t work, shop or pay many of her bills until she gets one. While she waits for that life-saving gift, North Hills Community Outreach (NHCO) is giving her support and hope.
"They're helping me a lot on this journey. They're giving me encouragement,” the 62 year-old former registered nurse said in a slightly shy voice.
About a year ago she wasn’t feeling well. So, she went to the doctor who immediately sent her to the emergency room. Her kidneys failed, and she had to start dialysis right away.
"Which was a total shock,” she added. “That day I had to resign from my job, which meant I went from a nursing salary to nothing."
The independent woman who made a career out of helping others now needed help. That’s when she turned to NHCO.
Her bills began adding up. Through our various utility assistance programs, we helped keep her lights on, water running and home warm.
She lives in Millvale where residents don’t have a nearby grocery store. She also doesn’t drive. Luckily, our Free Rides For Seniors program can give her a lift. The program gives free rides to those 60 and older so they can remain healthy and live safely on their own.
"I can count on that every week, so I don't have to worry,” she said. Donna and the volunteers who run the shuttle have become good friends, lifting her spirits.
"They're a bright spot. It’s the highlight of my week,” she smiled.
She also uses our food pantry once a month to lighten the cost of food.
"Being on disability, my income is extremely limited. So every penny counts."
Her kidney problems are causing new health issues, and she needs to see other medical specialists. Through NHCO’s Service for Seniors Program, a caring volunteer will take her to crucial medical appointments.
“Whenever I need anything I can always come over here and talk to people. There always seems to be a solution."
Donna was diagnosed with an unforeseen disease and was forced to leave her job. With little money and support, she needs help while she anxiously sits on a transplant waiting list until her life-saving kidney is found.
"It'll be a chance to rebuild my life. Perhaps go back to work."
When she’s healthy again, Donna plans to use our employment assistance program to find a job and get back on the road to independence.
She’s extremely grateful to the people and programs at North Hills Community Outreach and knows we cannot complete our mission without the generosity of others.
"I thank you for contributing to somebody who takes such good care of people like me who are met with a crisis. There's really a total change of life. I just want to say thank you."
The stories are different, but the theme is the same. Many who are dealing with an unforeseen crisis do not have the resources to get over that “bump in the road.” That’s why North Hills Community Outreach is here.