Margie’s retirement plans included buying an RV and traveling the country. But now she fears that won’t happen. “I’m 49 years old and I can’t work anymore.”

Margie has experienced a domino effect of hardship: She lost her food service job during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with her benefits. Without access to health care, she couldn’t afford to manage her high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Declining health, coupled with mobility issues, meant she couldn’t pursue a new job.

By spring 2021, Margie’s blood sugar levels were dangerously high and she was on the brink of kidney failure. Where could she go for help?

That’s when a friend told Margie about the free Upbring Health for Friends Clinic in their hometown of Lubbock, Texas. Margie’s own mother echoed the recommendation; in fact, she had been a Health for Friends patient for years for her own chronic health conditions.

At Health for Friends, Margie met compassionate staff who advocated for her wellbeing. She also found the knowledge, resources and encouragement she needed to self-manage her diabetes and hypertension. Our nurses provided her with a glucometer and test strips, as well as counseling on nutrition and low-impact exercise routines. As needed, the Health for Friends team can also refer patients for emergency assistance through its sister program, Upbring Neighborhood House, and other community partners.

“We love Lubbock, and we call it home,” said Program Director Joy Loper. “We are dedicated to treating the whole patient and helping them be as healthy as they can be.”

Now, like clockwork, Margie and her mother visit the Health for Friends Clinic every Friday morning for their checkups. Her blood pressure and blood sugar are in a healthier range, and life is starting to feel more hopeful again. “Without them, I wouldn’t be here,” Margie shared.

No one should be alone when faced with hard times. To learn more about the Upbring Health for Friends Clinic, visit Upbring.org/HFFC.

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