Vernice has a new lease on life

Through financial hardship and a battle with cancer, Vernice found the support she needed because of caring donors like you.

Vernice spent most of her life taking care of others. A single mother of four, she worked her way up the corporate ladder over 30 years at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, carefully putting away money for retirement.

Then, in her sixties, the bottom fell out. Vernice, like so many others, lost much of her retirement savings in the stock market crash of 2008.
Luckily, she found The Village of Oakland Woods in Pontiac. It was clean, safe and affordable, and, importantly to Vernice, a place where she could still be independent and active in her community.

But then, shortly after moving in, Vernice was diagnosed with breast cancer. The good news is, Oakland Woods was there for her when she needed support. “As soon as I was healthy again, I started exercising using the machines in the exercise room and getting to know everyone,” says Vernice, now eight years in remission and

an advocate for women’s health.

“I’m thankful. I’m grateful, actually,” says Vernice, who believes early detection saved her life. “When I talk to women I always say, ‘Get your mammograms every year, because you never know.’”

When she’s not attending Oakland Woods’ weekly fitness classes, the sprightly 77-year-old regularly uses the treadmill in her Village’s fitness center – all made possible by donors.

Vernice, a Village Victory Cup medalist several times over, even served as captain of her

Village’s walking team at last month’s event. And then there are the friendships she’s forged through her time with Oakland Woods’ resident council, choir and Bible study. Vernice says she felt “alone” living by herself; she doesn’t feel that way anymore.

“The Village is exactly where I’m supposed to be at this point of my life,” she says.

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