Monique was diagnosed with hydrocephalus when she was 7 years old. After more than 4 brain surgerys for her condition and a variety of other health issues (Monique used to be diabetic and has a variety of other health battles), Monique is thankful for her doctors who work together to manage her care and the assistance she is provided.
In 2005, Monique was introduced to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) by a social worker at the Department of Human Services – Aging and Disability Services. At first, Monique was able to come to AFAC directly to pick-up food, but with the large crowds and her difficulties getting around, and having to be bed ridden for a while, her social worker kindly brings her food every other week. While she does receive SNAP benefits, they don’t always last. Therefore, she is thankful for the food she receives from AFAC; she especially loves the soup and items she can add to soup, such as vegetables and chicken. She also appreciates the tuna and as it can be hard to stand and cook, she likes items that are easy to prepare.
Her health insurance doesn’t cover her seeing a nutrionist and she is trying to lose weight to help her overall health. Monique lives on a $1100 budget per month. Thankfully, a housing grant covers 60% of her rent and with her $1100 she pays the balance owed on rent, utilities, phone bill, medicines, and Star (metro accessible transportation).
Monique says: “I have gotten so many blessings from kind people who just want to help. I am blessed with the money and food I receive and, after being sick for so long, I want to be more social and help and if telling my story helps and talking to people helps, then that’s what I want to do.” Monique is enrolled in Georgetown’s continuing education program and takes a class one day per week towards her liberal arts degree. After being sick for so long and dealing with the health care system, she hopes to one day work with people on health policies structures. Monique lives in Rosslyn and is a member of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church.
We are thankful to her for sharing her story.