Client Stories: Aimee and Brenda
A couple of months ago, we received a call from Brenda, the mother of our client, Aimee. She wanted to let us know how much our service means to Aimee. Of course, we appreciated the kind words and after talking to Brenda, we were compelled to visit them, learn more and share their inspirational story.
When Aimee was 9 months old she contracted a virus that affected her brain. The result caused some damage that affected her speech, movement and ability to learn. The effects of the virus were so severe that doctors told her parents to take her home and make her comfortable, she likely wouldn't survive very long.
Fortunately, the doctors were wrong. With the help of her loving mother, Brenda, Aimee will be celebrating her 30th birthday this year! Aimee has been through many years of physical therapy and several surgeries to get to this point, but with Brenda right by her side, they are a strong team and the definition of a loving family.
Brenda, who retired in January, worked as a nurse for over 30 years, in cardiology at the University of Calgary. Brenda's love of helping others and hard work ethic have clearly been passed on to Aimee, who works as a teacher's assistant at a school for the deaf and at a day home. Previously, Aimee worked at the University of Calgary Summer Camps Program as a leader for 12 years. During that time she was such an inspiration that many people wrote to her saying how much of a difference Aimee has made to their lives.
In their spare time, Aimee and Brenda are both active skiers and even sit on the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing Board. No speedbump or roadblock will stop them from enjoying life to the fullest.
Brenda called Calgary Meals on Wheels when Aimee was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2015. This made cooking tricky for Brenda. Celiac disease brings a lot of dietary changes and any cross contamination can be really harmful to Aimee. Brenda, refusing to let this slow them down, decided to call us to see if we could help. After talking with our Registered Dietitian, who provided her with resources and lots of information about the services and foods we offer, Brenda knew we could help. While Calgary Meals on Wheels is not a certified celiac provider, our Dietitian let Brenda know we would do our best to ensure the food would work for Aimee.
Our meal service has successfully helped Aimee and Brenda. Aimee is living much more comfortably now, she loves the food and Brenda loves the fact that it is fresh and healthy. Since starting with Calgary Meals on Wheels, Aimee has gone down two sizes and her celiac antibodies count has dropped to 60 from 300 (an average person's count is 40).
Although, receiving the right nutrition is just one of the benefits of Calgary Meals on Wheels, according to Brenda, Aimee eagerly waits for the meals and loves to come out to greet her friends - our volunteers.
Brenda says, Calgary Meals on Wheels has helped give Aimee an increased sense of independence. Aimee can get the food herself, put the food in the microwave (although she needs some help pressing the buttons) and choose what she eats. It's easy and the personal connection makes everything so much better.
We would like to thank Aimee and Brenda for bringing a smile to our face. Stories like theirs are the driving force for what we do.