Tina first came into contact with Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids while helping her sister raise two children. The support and guidance was helpful at first, but became instrumental when she became the primary caregiver of her nephews.
At Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids classes, Tina and her nephews practiced parenting strategies and learned about nutrition and fitness. It wasn’t easy, but with the support of the program they were managing. Successes came gradually and were most apparent in Tina’s interactions with the two small boys — hugs became a common occurrence and yelling was replaced with positive reinforcement.
In 2014, Tina was expecting her first child. The entire class was excited, but seven months into the pregnancy there were complications. One day the father came to class to deliver the news, Tina had lost her child.
The loss was devastating and Tina avoided class for a few months. While away she struggled to process her grief, lost hope and neglected her personal health.
Through her struggles, TFC staff and Tina’s friends from class embraced her with love and she soon returned to Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids.
Thankfully, through a program partnership, Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids participants are able to access massage therapy. After Tina’s first session, the therapist reported having never seen a patient so tense, but Tina continued attending the therapy sessions and as time passed she opened up and let go of some of the pain she had been holding in.
While things were looking up, Tina was still facing health problems. She had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Without insurance, she could not afford the treatment she needed. Through another program partnership, TFC staff referred her to a clinic for the uninsured. The clinic was able to provide her with the treatment she needed and TFC provided bus passes so she was able to get to her appointments.
As she continued working on her health, Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids class was there for her. During each session, the program provided ongoing nutrition, fitness and lifestyle education. She learned to garden (providing access to low-cost produce), create healthy meals with fresh produce, and participated in group exercise.
Tina embraced what she learned and her health quickly improved. She reported the good news to the group, mentioning that her doctor credited much of her success to her participation in Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids. She became fond of gardening and preparing meals with freshly grown produce. She joined the Healthy Food Team of Cultivate Kansas City and began sharing her preparation techniques at the local farmers market.
With the help of TFC, Tina is in a good place. She has medical insurance, her health is improving and her family continues to grow.
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