Dianna has been helping others for much of her life. She worked in aged care, she fostered two children and any time family fell on hard times she’d offer to drive them to Foodbank WA “just to know they’ve got food in their cupboard and their children are going to be fed.”
When Dianna took ill with multiple myeloma in 2019, the tables turned. Living on the pension, she struggled to cover rent and car expenses, but knew she wouldn’t have to go hungry.
“I had to have help,” Dianna said, “and it’s lovely to know that there is somebody there to help you when in need like that.”
What Dianna didn’t expect, was to be relying on Foodbank Albany for an even more basic need.
“Ever since I got sick, I can’t drink the water out of the tap. It’s just the taste of it. When you get cancer your taste is never the same and it’s horrible. I was buying lots of water from the shop and cost me so much money. When I found it at Foodbank I was just over the moon, I was so pleased. Rod being Rod, he was so helpful, he’d let me have a fair bit of water which was lovely.”
Winter of 2021 has been long and tough for Dianna, after she caught a cold early in the season.
“I couldn’t rise up from it, Dianna said. “I thought it would be over within two weeks, but having cancer with it you’ve got no immune system. It just took me right to rock bottom, so I had to build myself all the way up again.”
Dianna stopped going to her beloved church and spent most of the winter at home for fear of catching another cold – or worse. The church community rallied and brought her meals, but she still appreciated being able to shop for herself at Foodbank Albany and focus on eating well to get well.
“There was always something there for me. There are certain foods that I can’t eat because of my sickness – things have got to be fresh. I’ve found that the fruit and vegetables are really nice every time I go there.”
Looking after her own health takes up much of Dianna’s precious time and energy, but it’s in her nature to always be caring for others.
“When I did get sick I had family members come down and when the children would come and see me, I’d have the food here for everybody to eat and share, it was wonderful.”
“It’s been three years I’ve had this multiple myeloma so I’m trying to get through it. I have my ups and downs, I have my moments. But whenever I need to, I go down to Foodbank Albany and have a good yarn with Rod. I’m – I shouldn’t say – one of their favourite clients!” laughed Dianna, “He’s an angel he is you know, he’s a really really good man.”