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Between the stress of life and death situations, heavy lifting, and bumpy rides hunched over in the back of an ambulance, Dan will tell you that his profession “is a young man’s job.”  

For 28 years, he has worked as an EMS Paramedic, always responding to other people’s life and death emergencies. He watches over those having a health crisis, and “shepherds” them safely to the hospital. 

However, last Spring, things changed for him. In April, he developed a foot infection that quickly turned septic. He went into the hospital for surgery to remove part of his foot. The infection had seeped into his blood and bones. It was scary for him to face recovering from this deadly illness and not being able to work. For the first time in his career, he was on the other side of the fence, and had to ask others for help. 

“MAP’s assistance came at a time in my life when I was in need. It was reassuring and a giant weight off my chest.” MAP paid three months of his rent so Dan could regain his hours at work and catch up financially.

As we spoke to Dan outside of MAP’s doors, an EMS ambulance sped by with full sirens screeching. “There goes another one,” said Dan. “We’re always on call.”

Dan EMS lifesaver
Dan is an EMS lifesaver and "shepherds" others safely to the hospital.

 

 

Bittersweet

December is a bittersweet month for me and my family.  December 3rd 1985, my beautiful 10 year old daughter Carrie Ann Wright was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.  At the time she was diagnosed I had just moved to Holland for stable employment.  I was a single mom of two kids who wanted better for my children and then our lives changed forever!

December 10th Carrie underwent a seven hour brain surgery to remove a tumor the size of a soft ball.  Eleven months prior, I had taken Carrie to eight different health officials, or hospitals, urgent care etc. only to be told, she is fine.  It wasn’t until I moved to Holland, where the Pediatrician within minutes told me Carrie had a brain tumor.  Carrie also suffered a stroke due to the large tumor that continued to grow in her head.  I will never forget Carrie looking into my eyes and saying, “Mommy why don’t the doctors believe me, I feel something in my head."  

After Carrie’s surgery, I asked to have her treated at St. Jude’s hospital in Memphis where we would spend the next two years flying back and forth for Chemo and radiation treatments.   It was so hard to leave my son Matthew, who was seven years old when Carrie was diagnosed.  Matthew stayed with my parents during this ordeal.  

When I say I have walked in the shoes of many of our neighbors in need, I truly mean it!  I had to work two cleaning jobs seven days a week to make ends meet. I have been on public assistance and I have gone through the worst heartbreak any parent can go through, the loss of a child.

On December 31st 1987, the angels came and took Carrie to heaven and gave her the wings she so deserved here on earth.

My personal story is bittersweet for two reasons.  The bitter is, I lost my beautiful daughter, Carrie Ann, the sweet is the medical support fund at Mission for Area People was created in Carrie’s memory to help people in our community in need of emergency medical assistance.

December will forever be hard for Matt and me, but I can tell you this, I know the Lord and my personal angel (Carrie Ann) will get me through the bitter and the sweet.

Diana Wright Stubbs
Diana Wright Stubbs, Executive Director
Diana's Personal Story
Diana Wright Stubbs pictured with her daughter Carrie Ann

His laughter starts out as a low rolling AYHHH and then turns into a full-blown chuckle. Craig is a local resident that hangs around Mission for Area People. You’ll see him sitting on the bench in front of Temple United Methodist’s green doors or standing in the hallways as if he’s permanently attached to the very walls themselves.

“He’s a neighbor in need,” said Diana Wright-Stubbs, Executive Director at MAP. “He’s been coming around here longer than I have been director.”

Ever since Craig’s father passed away just over 20 years ago, Craig doesn’t have any close family. He’s had to rely on himself and the help of MAP for food and clothing, and occasionally other items. 

But Craig doesn’t believe in accepting help without giving back. He knows MAP’s philosophy of  “a helping hand up and not a hand out.” Craig will come over and mow the lawn, mop the floors, paint the doors and trim, and do any handyman work that needs to be done. Volunteering is his way of giving back to the community and making other lives better in return.

Craig's hand up
Craig is a local neighbor in need.
Craig's is a neighbor
We are a hand up, not a hand out.