“Getting the medicines changed my life. Now, I have everything I need to take care of myself and my family.”

When I started at the sawmill 22 years ago, they didn’t have medical benefits, and I didn’t think I’d need them. I didn’t know about the diseases that were already hurting me – the sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure.

I’ve always worked hard. Even when I started being sick all the time, I usually went to work feeling bad, because nobody could do my job better than me. But I missed days, too. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t do anything. I had to go to the emergency room once or twice a month.

The medicines I need are way more than $500 a month. There was no way we could afford them – not even the meter for checking my insulin.

My life changed tremendously when I found the free clinic four years ago. Since I’ve been getting my medicine there, I have plenty of strength for my job, and lots left for cutting the grass and helping at home.