Grant Recipient: Christiana

Serenity Kisling #2

The assistance I received from Shades of Pink California literally kept a roof over my head.

Serenity Kisling #2ribbon-cutoutDiagnosis: Stage II breast cancer

Treatment: Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation

Grant used for: Housing


A Breast Cancer Diagnosis…and Then Pneumonia

A breast cancer diagnosis is bad enough all on its own, but cancer was only the beginning of Christiana’s health woes. Weakened by chemotherapy, Christiana developed pneumonia that turned septic. The 62-year-old found herself in the ICU for ten days with intubation and pulmonary support. Christiana remembers, “the pneumonia had me close to death and slow to recover.”

Broke, Overwhelmed, and Homeless

After Christiana was pulled back from the brink, she was still too weak to return home. Instead, she slowly recovered in a skilled nursing home. Not surprisingly, Christiana wasn’t able to work, and the bills just kept piling up. By the time she was released from the nursing home, the only things she had to look forward to were breast surgery and six weeks of radiation.

“I felt so lost,” Christiana remembers, “I had been away from my life as I knew it for over four months. I was broke and overwhelmed and homeless.”

Christiana Gets Back on Her Feet

Christiana was in a bad place, living with a friend who could only offer her shelter for one month. She had no job, no money, and little hope. Then, her luck finally started to change. A grant from Shades of Pink, California allowed Christiana to move to her own place and cover rent for two months. That time gave her the reprieve she needed to start looking for work, and she was able to find a part-time job. Christiana tells us that by the time her grant money ran out, she had made enough to cover her rent with her own paychecks. “I am so deeply grateful for your helping me stay afloat long enough to get back on my feet,” she wrote us in a follow-up letter. “Without your help when you gave it, I shudder to think what would have become of me.”

Christiana’s story truly touched our hearts, and her experience proves that a helping hand given at the right time can make a monumental difference in the life of another. It is only with the help of our wonderful donors that we were able to make such a positive difference in Christiana’s life when she was in need.