04 October 2016

The Pathway of Hope can sometimes begin in the darkest of times. For 51 year old, single mom,  Jamie K life changed in an instant in 2014. She was faced with a diagnosis of stage 3 breast cancer that came with a less than fifty percent survival chance. In the coming months her fight to survive came with the loss of her job, her home, her everything!

With no income or child support, her and her daughter couch surfed, until a friend opened their door and heart and suggested that she come to the Salvation Army for assistance. Weak and frail from chemotherapy, radiation and many surgeries she turned to Salvation Army, first for fresh food from the community shelf, then the food pantry and Christmas gifts for her daughter. 

“With the support of the oncology department staff, my friend and the Salvation Army, I made it through,” explained Jamie. “I was not ready to give up! My faith was so important through it all. There were days on end that I did not see anyone but God through my prayers.” 

 In January 2016, Jamie registered for the Pathway of Hope program. The Pathway of Hope program provides one-on-one intensive case management, in order to collaboratively identify the obstacles they face and partner with them to best determine how these challenges can be overcome. Just as each family is unique, so are our means of assistance.

Jamie shared the impact the program has had one her, “The Pathway of Hope program has shown me that I am not alone. The program and my case manager Val Stone has helped give me the confidence to go on! 

I know there is help and hope. Having someone who supports me emotionally through my journey and goals is important. It feels good to have someone believe in me.”   

“I can see that I am getting better and stronger…I see how far I have come. Being able to meet with Val has me feeding on the positive, not the pain pills and medications. I am almost done with them.” 

Through the support of disability benefits, Jamie and her daughter are now in their own home and she is working on her goals. After nine surgeries and two years after her journey began; she is ready to tackle her goals the first being taking her GED test which she has been studying hard for. Times have changed since she began working in banking, you were hired  for what you could do, a High School Diploma was not required. Next on her list of goals is working towards becoming CENA (Competency-Evaluated Nursing Assistant) certified, where she can use her compassion and understanding to help others.

Beyond the emotional support and coordination of resources, Jamie said, “I cannot tell you the huge relief and happiness I felt when The Salvation Army was able to have a local attorney assist me in getting my personal affairs and Power of Attorney drawn up. I am all that my thirteen year old daughter has. It was very important for me to make sure that she is cared for.”

“It makes me happy to see her happily involved with The Salvation Army youth programs. She had such a great time at Little Pine Island Camp this year as well. It has been a positive experience for her as well and she has made some wonderful new friends.”

“There is life after this experience. So many things went wrong during my illness. I questioned if it was the end,” Jamie said. “For those that support the Salvation Army and the Pathway of Hope program THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! I have hope! I have someone at my back! My daughter and I are not alone!” 

“Jamie is such a wonderful woman who is willing to work on the positive, identify those things holding her back and then go forward to improving her life. It is a pleasure to see her family being so happy again, says Val Stone. This is what P.O.H. is meant to do with our community neighbors. It’s a great program.” 

Click here to find more information on Pathway of Hope.