'I started the Fountain of Hope Counseling Center when I worked for the Department of Health - 17 years ago. I would go into the community to inform people. My main goal was to deliver important health information to people for them to be able to make informed health decisions for themselves.
When I left the health department and started working for Capital Regional, I wanted to still be able to help because this community has given so much to me and my family. I have five kids - I adopted three and have seven grandchildren, so I have a large family. My family and I have benefited from this community a great deal - so starting this organization was my way of giving back to the community. I would attend health fairs but many times I would set up in the parking lot or at gas stations with a big tent and give blood pressure checks, blood glucose and HIV screenings.
One particular day, I was working my booth at a health event for my organization, checking blood pressures for the people there. There was a guy that came by the booth and said that he didn't need to be checked. I continued to have a conversation with him. He told me he just came from his doctor the previous week and was fine and didn't need my help. Talking to him, I learned that hypertension ran in his family and that his brother was currently on dialysis from high blood pressure. I knew then, I couldn't let this guy leave without getting his blood pressure checked. I have a way of encouraging people, so I got him to comply and- it was 200/99. He said, his blood pressure has never been that high. So we checked it again. It was 200/96. So I said, you have to go see your doctor. I told him that it was too high and I strongly encouraged him to go to the emergency room. That following Monday, he went back to his doctor and his doctor started him on blood pressure medication that same day.
One month after, this same man happened to see me at another health screening. He came up to me and hugged me and I didn't understand. Because at this time, I had forgotten who this person was, as I had screened hundreds of people since then. He said, 'You saved my life. My brother just died of complications to high blood pressure and I could have been next. You really saved my life.' THIS is what makes me fulfilled.'