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It was shortly after 9pm one night in March 2020, and Essence could no longer ignore the pain in her back and the fever chills that made it impossible to keep working. Essence was familiar with these symptoms and suspected that she might have another kidney infection, so she drove herself to AdventHealth Orlando's Emergency Department.
The ED was overwhelmed with COVID patients, but Essence managed to be admitted into the hospital. An MRI showed a large mass on her kidney that was causing an infection. A biopsy resulted in a renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) diagnosis, which would require surgery to remove the mass.
Essence found herself in an impossible situation. It was the start of the pandemic, she had eight children at home, and a one-month-long recovery in the hospital would keep her from working.
Essence had just started a job at AdventHealth working in Nutritional Services. Even though she had only been with AdventHealth for a short time, her team moved quickly to help her.
Supervisors and coworkers provided care during her time in the hospital by regularly checking in on her. Even the Support Cook in the patient kitchen personally fixed food trays and left encouraging notes. Her children were able to visit her in the hospital because a friend and AdventHealth employee offered to help.
To cover her financial needs, a coworker introduced her to The Hope Fund, a resource for AdventHealth employees who undergo a sudden and unexpected financial emergency through no fault of their own. The Hope Fund gave $1,000 to Essence, which was the perfect amount to cover her family's needs.
Our Employee Giving Program brings a spirit of generosity across all our campuses, encouraging team members to participate in giving back to causes that mean the most to them. One of the most frequently selected programs, The Hope Fund, provides financial assistance to fellow team members with urgent needs.
Essence reflected on the support she received from coworkers and the financial assistance offered by The Hope Fund, "It meant everything to me. If it wasn’t for the program, what would I have done?”
Essence continues to work at AdventHealth and is now a regular supporter of The Hope Fund, "I would recommend all employees to join Generosity Champions and give to The Hope Fund. You never know when you are going to be in need."
AdventHealth is able to offer emergency financial assistance because of the generous donations of employees. By enrolling in AdventHealth’s Employee Giving program, Generosity Champions, you can join Essence in her efforts to support The Hope Fund and help other team members who find themselves in a place of urgent financial need.