"I had nowhere else to go for medical care. They accepted me."
Alliance patient Katherine Beckwith shares her story.
Before her 55th birthday, Katherine’s health started to deteriorate. She found herself in the Emergency Department at WakeMed, suffering from health issues stemming from diabetes, high blood pressure, and respiratory issues. “Suddenly I had all of these problems and medications I needed to take. I haven’t had health insurance in two years, and I don’t have a doctor. I was terrified.”
“WakeMed referred me to Alliance Medical Ministry. Right away, they accepted me. They didn’t send me out the door! That is a big thing for me.”
Katherine saw a doctor, and has begun the process of managing her chronic illnesses. Through Alliance, Katherine was connected with the Patient Assistance Program, and is receiving her insulin and other medication for no charge. She is working with Dr. Maggie Burkhead to regulate her blood pressure, and is making major effort to change her eating habits.
“Alliance offers all of these amazing programs to help. I’ve taken a diabetes education class, which has helped me understand how to test my sugar and learn about insulin. I’m also taking Cooking Matters, and it has been so educational. I grew up on greasy foods and I’m a meat-aholic; here, they showed me that you can eat vegetables and they will taste good. Now, I’m not eating as much sugar. I’m trying to do diet drinks or just water. I’m reading the labels, checking sugar and sodium.”
Another surprise? “Alliance gives you fresh produce! Have you ever heard of a doctor’s office that gives you vegetables?” Katherine lives with her 19-year-old daughter, who has a part-time job. “Keeping the lights on and the utilities paid is our priority right now. Taking home fresh produce is such a help in our house.”