In September of 2011, 62-year-old Rada Podgorica knew that something wasn’t right. Her left breast began to bruise. She had a feeling - a bad feeling. Intuition, or the Bosnian pragmatism that she speaks of, led her to an inevitable conclusion: she had breast cancer.
Dianne is a Hepatitis C survivor, a direct result of the determination shown by her and her healthcare team who fought for access to a revolutionary new Hepatitis C drug that boasts a 90% success rate. One pill a day for 8 weeks with virtually no side effects.
Tattooed in cursive writing, one atop the other on 23-year-old, Zambian born, Marie Bashangi’s right shoulder blade are two phrases: Yours Forever/ Forever Young. She touches them. Her fingers linger and she smiles at her eldest son, five-year-old Tyrell.
Michelle is proud of her full-time job, and her beautiful 5-year-old daughter Sophia. But getting to this point in her life wasn’t easy. Michelle became pregnant at 15. She was overwhelmed and running out of options, so she turned to the LIHC.
Bassam Lazar came to Canada with his parents and his 9 brothers and sisters in 1993. They were Iraqi refugees looking for a safe country to live in. First they had fled to Turkey, and there they had waited in limbo for 2 long years until Canada opened its doors.
Twenty-five years ago when London InterCommunity Health Centre began, there were four staff members. Anthoula Doumkou, now the Planning and Community Programs Manager, was one of them. The first of its kind in London, LIHC offered and continues to provide a health promotions model of care that works with clients through all stages of life.
Marc is a diehard Montreal Canadiens fan. There used to be nothing he’d like more than to put on the game, grab a big bag of something sweet, and relax. But then he was diagnosed with diabetes and his world changed.
Iraqui actor and director Khawla Tawfiq, was famous for TV and films. But life provided a twist and turned into a nightmare. Twenty-one members of her family were killed; work dried up as the country fell into chaos; and bandits kidnapped her then-12-year-old son.
Sarah loves to play soccer. For 13 years it’s been the one place she can find calm and peace from her troubles. She was one of the first players to play on the indoor field at BMO Centre when it opened.
Canada has free, high-quality healthcare for everyone. So why do the richest 10% of people live seven years longer than the poorest? Deep poverty can be associated with a drop in life expectancy of 20 years or more. If we look at both life expectancy and years lived with disability, the rich are 39% healthier than the poor.
Poverty is widespread. It affects more individuals, families and children than you know. Actually, there are numerous people here in London experiencing poverty, living in substandard housing and who are unemployed.
The London InterCommunity Health Centre is committed to furthering health equity for the entire London community through their health advocacy support and work through the Association of Ontario Health Centres.