This afternoon I was invited by our Client Coordinator, Samantha Tiscareno, to come along with her on an in-person check-in. We set out to deliver a Domino's pizza to a new Pathways client, Armando Garcia. I knew right away that this afternoon would be an incredible experience and full of stories as Armando greeted us in his colorful Hawaiian shirt.
Armando told me that he moved to Long Beach from Temecula in search of cooler weather. Unfortunately, upon his arrival he was met with some devastating news... a cancer diagnosis.
As the stay at home unfolded and businesses began to close, Armando was referred to our Care Navigation partner, Meals on Wheels-Long Beach, to help with his food security. Being new to the Long Beach area, Armando did not have a local support system or was aware any resources that could help him in his isolated situation. That was until Pathways come into his life.
When Armando first came on the Care Navigation Program, he was at an incredibly emotional and physically low part of his life. He shared with me how overwhelmed he felt being so ill and just trying to understand the medical issues he was facing at 68. He could not imagine being 78, 88 or 98 and doing this all alone. He told me that Pathways continues to lift him up and he knows that 100% of it is due to his amazing Care Team. “Pathways removed the "yoke" of being diagnosed with a terminal illness. The concern, the worry and the despair have all been removed from my shoulders.” In addition, he says that he especially appreciates the days that he can talk on the to our Care Team member, Tina, during her regular check- ins. “She has such a calming voice and I feel like I am being embraced in a big hug.”
“Pathways means everything to me", says Armando, "and I would not be alive today without all of you here
taking care of everything for me.”
When asked what Armando thought was important for others who may need help for themselves or a loved one to know about Pathways he said, “Pathways loves to help, they talk to people with understanding, with warmth, with caring and they make the whole experience feel very honorable. Most seniors don’t like to ask for help or want to rock the boat, but Pathways comes in like a trusted friend who has always been there and will offer help. Pathways allows people to be a part of society and to remain independent outside of being placed in a nursing home.”
What I heard when talking with Armando is that he feels that he needs to do something that makes a mark in this world. He is downplays his former career as a music producer/performer and his earlier years playing guitar for Cher, Madonna and Cheap Trick, to name a few. As I got ready to leave his home, Samantha was setting up to give Armando a ZOOM lesson. He has been anxous to connect to others since his health has declined and the "Stay at Home" order went into effect.
We are honored that Armando is part of the Pathways family and we are happy to know him and celebrate with him his life and accomplishments. Thank you, Armando, for letting us be your TRUSTED FRIEND!
It was my great pleasure to meet Armando and If you would like to donate to Pathways. I can gurantee you will help us keep up with the new mantra Pathways is People helping People .
Thank you for your time
Director of Development and Community Awareness