Sheila and Mildred Count on Rides and Smiles

Sheila and Mildred photo

Sheila Wilson wears a lot of hats in life, including being the primary caregiver for her mother Mildred who is 86 years young. “I’m the cook and chief bottle washer around here,” chuckles Sheila.

When doctors found an Evans tumor in Sheila’s lower leg, her foot had to be amputated to save her life. For months she was depended on a wheelchair for mobility while she waited for her prosthetic leg. When she was facing these challenges, her church recommended that she call DRA for help.

Right way, DRA provided transportation for both Sheila and her mother to get to medical appointments. When she was using the wheelchair, the accessible vans were a great help.

“We have the best transportation there is. They (DRA) are good people. They always try to do everything they can to help me out,” Sheila brags.

Mildred has noticed that many of DRA’s drivers are named Tom. She loves them all, but her favorite is the “Middle Tom.” “He has the best personality. It’s like you have known him forever, even though you just met,” said Sheila. “The only person mom ever gets to talk to is me. It’s a great treat when we get to go places and we have someone fun like Tom to talk to.”

This year, DRA also helped build a ramp into their home. “It (the ramp) has been such a blessing,” explains Sheila. “I had NO ACCESS into my home at all until DRA built this ramp for us.”

“DRA has been a God-send,” said Sheila. “I don’t know what we would have done without you.”

Sheila has a goal to drive again someday, but for now she is very grateful that DRA can provide transportation for both her and her mother.

Sheila worked for 23 years as a word processor at Maritz. One day before she turned 50, her job was eliminated when the company had to downsize. On her 60th birthday, she found out that she would need to have her leg amputated. “When I turn 70, I might just hide that day!” she said.

Although she’s retired, Sheila stays plenty busy caring for their home as well as her own health and her mother’s. She also decided to take up crocheting again. Mildred taught her how when she was young, but Sheila hasn’t really done much with it since she was in her 20’s. She’s working on a placemat now.

Sheila and Mildred photo

Overall, Sheila says it’s important to keep a positive outlook in life.

“You just have to accept it. You have to be happy with yourself.”

She looks forward to each day she and her mother have left together. She is grateful to DRA for helping to make those days easier and more fun.