By Tim Harfmann
Vicky Javier takes care of her husband, Santiago, around the clock. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 22 years ago.
“It’s really hard to me because physically he’s here, but for a long, long time he’s not here anymore emotionally, spirituality, mentally. He doesn’t know me anymore,” said Vicky.
Santiago lost his memory just two years into his diagnosis, and he hasn’t spoken a word in over a decade.
Vicky is a retired teacher who taught Catholic school students for nearly 30 years. She used to have to bring Santiago into the classroom with her because she didn’t have another full-time caregiver.
Now, Vicky’s been relieved of a big chore — cooking meals for her 81-year-old husband.
The Catholic couple receives help from God’s Love We Deliver, an organization that provides nutritious meals for those suffering from severe illnesses.
“She doesn’t have to worry about what Santiago is going to eat, if it’s going to be healthy and nutritious, and how much it’s going to cost,” said Emmett Findley, director of communications for the nonprofit. “These meals [are] free to Victoria and Santiago, but they’re also made with love.”
Over 7,700 patients, their family members and caregivers receive the love-made meals in the New York Metropolitan area.
Vicky’s freezer in Sunset Park, Brooklyn is stuffed with soup and other items.
“It is very helpful for me. You don’t know how I thank God for this,” said Vicky.
Santiago was a diabetic with high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Now, according to Vicky, the ‘God’s Love’ meals are making a difference in his health.
“[Santiago’s doctor] stopped all the prescriptions because of the meals, I imagine. There’s nothing else.”
Vicky also receives meals — but she gives them to her husband.
“I don’t really eat it because I save it for him, instead of thinking of what to give him.”
A sacrifice all thanks to volunteers delivering God’s love.