Maryse Joseph moved to Wake County, and like many, did not have health insurance. In 2008, WakeMed referred her to Alliance Medical Ministry after a brief hospitalization. She has been a regular patient of Dr. Sheryl Joyner since.
A few years ago, Maryse became critically ill and was hospitalized again. After release, she met with Dr. Joyner and says her life changed as a result of Dr. Joyner's compassion.
"Dr. Joyner told me that every day while I was in the hospital, she checked up on me. She encouraged me, telling me, 'Maryse, if you can leave the hospital, you need to survive and keep fighting. You can make it!' That changed my life."
Maryse works as a CNA at a nursing home, and translates Dr. Joyner's compassion into her work. "Dr. Joyner taught me to do everything with my heart. At Alliance, I've felt like I'm an important person. The way you talk to people can change so much. So many people see your skin color and hear your accent, and may not want you. Dr. Joyner takes time to listen to me. She sees the human being."
Last year, Maryse discovered that she was pre-diabetic and at risk of developing diabetes. Dr. Joyner invited her to participate in the Million Step Challenge program in partnership with WakeMed Hospital.
Through this initiative, Maryse received a FitBit, and walked 1,785,204 in 112 days, taking second place in the Million Step Challenge! Even since the MSC ended, Maryse continues to exercise, waking up between 4:30 and 5:00 am daily to walk. "I've lost nine pounds! And I'm keeping it off with healthier eating."
This summer, Maryse has participated in the summer Cooking Matters classes, offered in partnership with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
“Everyone can participate. Families come with their kids. We learn we don’t need a lot of money to eat healthy."