What was supposed to be a fresh start for Debra and Dwayne turned into an unexpected crisis. After Debra moved from her hometown to escape a difficult situation and to give her son Dwayne a better childhood she noticed Dwayne was not acting like other children his age. She took him to the doctor and learned he had autism. “It has changed my life entirely,” she said. “Dwayne is my full-time job now.” Debra had planned to find work after moving. However, because of Dwayne’s diagnosis and no budget or deep pockets for specialized daycare, she could not work and had to stay home and care for him.
With no income, Debra turned to a partnering pantry to help feed her and her son. “Before finding the pantry, I had spent many nights going to sleep with an empty stomach, making sure he had all the food in the house. I do not know what we would have done without the food from the pantry.”
Soon Debra hopes to enroll Dwayne in a public preschool for children with similar development issues. Once that happens, she can find a job. In the meantime, despite all the challenges she has had to overcome, Debra would not change anything and so very thankful for the support and encouragement.