The Story of a Lifelong Learner

Facing Hunger in Manhattan, Kansas

My mother had an eleventh grade education. She got married because she got pregnant, but she had a love of education so she always had us reading. I have five degrees. I have my Master’s in social work, psychology, counseling, administration of justice, and a Bachelor and Master’s in education. I have always been one of those people who like to explore, always on the go, never satisfied. I was working on my doctoral degree and volunteering in Africa when I had a brain aneurism. I guess God decided to sit me down, and now I’m searching for what I was meant to do.

My brain aneurism changed my life. I was in a nursing home for about nine to ten months, paralyzed on one side of my body. When I came out of my coma I called my niece who lives here in Kansas. I do not have any children of my own. I don’t know how I knew my niece’s number, but I called and she answered. The next day my niece was in Pennsylvania to get me. For not knowing her well beforehand, she has been there through it all with me.

Now I am healthy, I feel good, but I still have short-term memory issues. I can lay something down, walk away, and forget all about it. I have a good income and could take care of myself if I did not have these mental health issues. All of the medical expenses with my aneurism have put me in a financial bind and my niece doesn’t know I come to the Breadbasket. She would be upset. I come here because I am independent. I don’t like to ask her for everything; it would be too psychologically devastating.

But I feel blessed. I feel blessed that I am alive and that I know how to find resources. I do not believe in being hungry and the Breadbasket allows me to focus on things that I have to buy.

As told to Lauren Fahsholtz

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