I dream of becoming independent again, feeling useful: Ana Maria’s Story

By Claudia Porras

Life showed Ana Maria a difficult side when, during a long and painful recovery from cancer, her daughter moved out and Ana Maria was left to meet her rehabilitation challenges alone. With limited financial resources, she had to find a new home, and then on top of that, she did not speak English.

Ana Maria moved to Canada from Mexico, where she ran a small store a few years ago. She was about to start a new life in Canada, but suddenly the illness stopped her.

At that moment, Ana’s friend Perla, who wanted to help her with all her heart, told her that she was going to start looking for help to calm Ana. Perla started searching the internet until she found MNLCT services. She called the Centre and told the whole story about her friend.

A few days later, Ana Maria got a call from MNLCT – the caller spoke Spanish! The Settlement Worker helped Ana Maria find financial support to pay the rent for her new home and connected her with the Compassion Focused Therapy Group run by the Centre’s Community Mental Health team. Ana Maria participated in 6 sessions via Zoom.

These sessions with MNLCT professionals helped me to feel very energetic, with a more optimistic, strong, full-of-energy look from minimal self-esteem. Now I want to resume my working life.”

Ana Maria’s friends have noticed how she has changed in recent weeks!

Now she is busy every day – staying active, walking in the mornings, preparing meals, and doing housework. She loves knitting and sewing because it is convenient and she exercises her hands.

In Mexico, she was an independent woman. She worked in a bank, then she had her own grocery store. She was not a burden to anyone. And now, in Canada, she dreams of becoming independent again and feeling useful.

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"The Mennonite New Life Centre and its BEMC program came in very handy for me at the lowest ebb of my life by providing a lifeline and I am eternally grateful for that,”

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