After struggling for years with chronic health problems and mobility issues, Tammy Button of Saint John is once again enjoying the sewing and knitting that helps her relax and appreciate the simple pleasures of life.
Tammy, 57, is a single mom living on social assistance. A series of car accidents, compounded with long-standing health conditions including a rare form of cystic fibrosis, left her unable to work and vulnerable to the pitfalls of poverty.
“It’s a struggle,” she says, recounting a long list of medical issues including a back injury, knee problems and neuropathy which make it difficult for her to walk and even use her hands.
“My hands are still bad, but last year my sister gave me a sewing machine and Ability New Brunswick was able to get me some pattern books and yarn and fabric. So I started sewing and knitting again. I’m really slow at it and it is still really difficult, but it’s coming back to me and to my hands.”
Ability New Brunswick also helped Tammy get a laptop computer so she could learn new sewing skills online.
She says she is pleased because she has a large family and now she is able to make gifts for birthdays and holidays. She is already turning out sweaters, scarves, mittens and slippers.
“Yarn is so expensive today,” she says. “It helps me so much to have the sewing materials donated to me through Ability New Brunswick. I feel like they’re in my corner, giving me a hand up.”
Tammy says Ability New Brunswick also helped her keep her apartment, through NB Housing, after her daughter moved out. She says it’s in a great spot because the bus stops right in front of her building, making it easier to get out and about.
“I feel that Ability New Brunswick is a great organization and they really are trying to make life better for people like me. I am very grateful.”