A Letter From Khadine

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Dear Friend of WomenRising,

I want to share my story with you. I want to help you understand the impact WomenRising has made in my life and to see how someone can go through so much and come out of it a better person with the help of those around them by believing in themselves.  

I came to the U.S. in 2002 from Trinidad and Tobago. In 2007, I gave birth to beautiful twin boys. As soon as they were born I began to realize the extent of their health issues. They were diagnosed with a heart condition and started the journey through numerous surgeries.

Shortly after my twins were born my oldest son was finally approved for citizenship and I was thrilled to have my entire family together. At the time, my Aunt and Sister were living with us, through a series of betrayals, I lost my job and became extremely depressed. I couldn’t function; I was living in a toxic environment with family who had betrayed me and gaining an immense amount of weight until I was almost 500 pounds.  

One day, my son came home from school, gave me a hug and said, “Mom, you stink!” He had never said anything like that to me before, and I felt embarrassed. So, I got up and took a shower. Then, slowly, I felt my motivation come back. I moved my family out of the apartment and went to a shelter. Even though it was tough, I knew we needed to be on our own so I could build my family how I saw fit.  

I began going to therapy and got on medication. The counselor at the shelter introduced me to WomenRising’s Village of Families program. Through Village of Families, I met Diana, my case manager. She never judges me and is easy to talk to. The program moved my family into permanent housing. Walking into the apartment on the day we moved felt like heaven. Thanks to Village of Families, I am able to afford food for my growing boys and support them in a way I’ve never been able to.  I also got the gastric sleeve surgery and in a matter of four months, I have lost over 100 pounds!  

It has been a long journey for me to become the person I am today. I have goals for myself. I want my kids to be as healthy as possible and excel at everything they do. Sometimes I wish I found WomenRising earlier, they have been the bright light in a dark hole for me.  

I had a difficult childhood filled with abuse. Thanks to WomenRising I can ensure that my children will not have to go through what I did. Sadly, there are many women and children who have similar experiences, but, thankfully, WomenRising is here to assist.  

I hope you will consider supporting WomenRising in any way you can. They have meant so much to me and my family and there are so many others they can help in our community.  

Thank you for taking the time to hear my story.

Sincerely,

Khadine, Village of Families Client