This story was submitted by Stephanie, the president of our Boston chapter. Prepare to be inspired:
My name is Stephanie Cappello, 26 from Boston, MA. In 2010, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Psoriatis Arthritis, that left me disabled. My disease caused me to lose my job and my apartment and my ability to care for myself. My mother had to come over twice a week to help wash my hair due to the adversities of this disease. Additionally, I had an infant son to care for. It was very hard. I had to go on new medications with scary side effects, including liver damage. There is no cure for PsA, only invasive medications to eventually decrease symptoms, and maybe prevent long term damage. It was frightening to be disabled and unable to do hardly anything at the tender age of 22. My town, Boston, provided me with most of my basic needs; food, shelter, clothing and I was grateful for this. But, I felt ashamed because it lacked pads or tampons. Every month, I worried where I would get these ordinary sanitary products. I received assistance from the state, but my son always came first and if he needed something, he got it and I was forced to skip buying pads and tampons. Luckily for me, my mom, sister and best friend ALWAYS bought them for me. If I ever ran out of the little money they were there to help me. I realized not everyone in shelters had a support system like I had. It became clear to me that women needed these items just as much as food or clothing. That is why I support and will help this cause. There are little girls in the system who need education and support and there are mothers and women who need care and products. If I can do something to help bring this cause to Boston, I will be ever grateful.