One common misconception when it comes to East Cooper Meals on Wheels is that our program is based on age and income. It’s actually the exact opposite. If someone is homebound and they are unable to prepare their own meals, that’s where we come in. Our service assists many of our young and middle-aged neighbors who need a helping hand as they recover from surgery or illness. Take a moment to learn about former recipient Mike, who needed Meals on Wheels while recovering from surgery caused by years of arthritis.
Mike, 55, is a Pennsylvania native who found himself moving to the Lowcountry in 2000 for a new job. Most of his career he worked in commercial real estate, and for the past several years he was the Chief Engineer at a hotel downtown. Mike found himself suffering from arthritis so badly that he needed surgery to allow him to walk again without pain. The surgery fused his ankle in place with two screws. He needed six months to completely heal and was confined to a wheelchair for three of those months. Having to do everything on one leg, he was in incredible pain. Mike realized how much he took preparing his own food for granted and quickly realized how much effort goes into cooking for himself. Preparing his own meals became impossible.
As an independent and active person for most of his life, being confined to that wheelchair led to both a physical and emotional struggle while recovering.
According to Mike, “when you’re down, and I mean down, any help you can get is a godsend. Asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a strength.”
He learned about East Cooper Meals on Wheels through another community program, and he was so thankful that he reached out. He established great friendships with his drivers and looked forward to that knock at his door each day. He said he was, “totally impressed with the quality and diversity of the food program.” He required meals for two months, and once he was strong enough and the doctors told him to increase physical activity, he decided to try to prepare his own meals again.
To Mike,“to be given that break during recovery was wonderful.”