Lisa and her husband George have lived on the Cape since the late 1960s and are currently in elderly housing. They both have had numerous health issues while helping to take care of their two grandchildren, 11 and 18 years old, since their mother passed away. The kids live with their Dad, but while he works and if they’re not in school, they spend time with their grandparents. Lisa is the one who deals with the schools in case someone has to come home due to sickness and for teacher meetings.
George works part-time at a golf course and Lisa worked substituting at a school for the past year. Her last day was March 13 when the novel coronavirus appeared on the scene. They have been helped by Lower Cape Outreach Council (LCOC) and Lisa said, “They are the most amazing and giving people on the planet.” Health issues have sent Lisa and George to them for help on several occasions.
George is living with leukemia and Lisa’s back was broken in a car accident last August. Her situation was further complicated by an earlier accident resulting in having rods previously implanted to give her back more stability. This recent accident broke a couple of those rods, which, despite a considerable amount of pain, she didn’t realize until October when she had an MRI in Boston. She was “knocked out cold” in the accident last August and doesn’t remember anything. Despite Medicare and their supplemental insurance, they have many medical bills to pay off and that is why they are working.
Prior to the pandemic, Lisa and George had some bills paid by LCOC when things began to pile up. LCOC has also worked with St. Vincent de Paul to help them. Ann said, “They haven’t turned us down yet. We don’t ask for help every year, only when we really need it.”
Additionally, they had a car insurance payment made while Lisa was recovering from back surgery. LCOC has given them calls periodically to check in and when they found out what Lisa and George had been going through, they helped with the car insurance and their rent. “We didn’t want to call them, but they reached out to us!”Lisa marveled, “LCOC goes out of its way to remember us.”
Ann was scheduled for an upcoming double mastectomy in the fall. This would present some challenges for keeping up with prior medical bills and limiting her opportunity for part-time work as she recovered. She was already making her plan.
Lisa worked for the Town for 20 years as a senior advocate and grant writer. As many who have been helped by LCOC, she would like to give back when she has the opportunity, using her background. “At some point, I’d love to help out Katie’s Corner or the food pantry once we get through our latest health issues,” Lisa said.
“The Lower Cape Outreach Council people give me hope. If you are really in a bind and must call them, they don’t make you feel unworthy. They always step up to the plate. The years I have known the organization, they have worked tirelessly to do so much for so many,” Lisa said. She added, “I was brought up with unconditional love and kindness and not to be judgmental. This is the way that LCOC workers are. They do more than ‘outreach’, they really listen. They go above and beyond, and I feel blessed and grateful for their help every day.”