Mama Helen has been hospitalized since January 2014 due to high blood pressure that led her to suffering a stroke. She also suffers from Diabetes which was well-managed for 25 years, but eventually brought damage to her kidneys, causing them to fail.
Mama Helen developed diabetes when she began drinking heavily after the husband she married when she was only 17 years of age decided to leave her and remarry another woman. Currently, Mama Helen struggles with edema due to water retention, surgery wounds that won’t heal properly due to diabetes, and bed sores due to lack of immobility as a result of being bedridden. Severely ill, Mama Helen is in the process of applying for medicaid to help provide for the regular medical care she desperately needs.
With the financial assistance from the Iya Foundation, Mama Helen hopes to pay for a nurse to accompany her from the hospital to her home so that she can spend Thanksgiving weekend at home with family.
Upon recovery, Mama Helen hopes to share her story in order to inform and educate others on the relationship between diabetes and kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy). Diabetes is the number one leading cause of kidney disease.
Mamie (as she’s fondly called) advices others to manage their Diabetes and Hypertension properly (HBP), as it leads to kidney failure. Mamie thanks the Iya Foundation very much for their support, and says she “really appreciates the assistance”.