News & Events

Stand up for Senior Citizens



Before Sheryl moved to Alaska she was a civil rights activist in Chattanooga, Tennessee (she even marched with Martin Luther King Jr during the civil rights movement!). She moved to Anchorage with her family in 1976 for a fresh start far away from the threat she felt in her Tennessee neighborhood.

Establishing a new life in Alaska wasn’t easy for Sheryl. She had to work hard to provide for herself and her children. Even throughout the tough times, it was important to Sheryl to also give back to the community. After several years of working several jobs at once she was able to get a job as a mental health counselor for North Star Hospital, where she particularly enjoyed helping children. She worked at North Star for 13 years.

After these 13 years, tragedy struck – Sheryl found she could no longer work as her kidney disease progressed into renal disease. And then the bills started piling up: Before she was able to get on Medicaid, Sheryl’s only option was to pay for her medical care out of pocket – at the steep price of ~$7000/week – completely depleting her savings.

Because she is receiving dialysis, Sheryl can only eat a high protein diet. Her blood is tested monthly to ensure that she is following this specific diet, in hopes that she will be able to receive a kidney replacement. With no savings and a low income, Sheryl struggles to make ends meet. She relies on St. Francis House, a local food pantry for food, however without the $76 she receives in Senior Benefits she would not be able to purchase the medications she needs.

On April 11 Sheryl learned that her benefits will be suspended for the months of May and June. As Alaskans, it is our duty to ensure that our low-income seniors and elders are taken care of and the Senior Benefits program is a necessary tool in making this possible. 

We need your help in telling lawmakers that Alaskan seniors like Sheryl need the Senior Benefits Program. Contact your state legislators and the Governor today!

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