St. Boniface’s own Miss Ste. Helene Fleuresaint recalls a time before she was part of the hospital staff—that dark day 12 years ago when she sat in a Fonds-des-Nègres clinic just after she received the news that she was HIV positive.
SBHF’s SIDALE program allows people to live and not be defined by their disease.
Giving Back and Helping Others
Three years later, Miss Fleuresaint decided she wanted to give back to the hospital that delivered her ‘miracle.’ She began working as an onsite facilitator for SIDALE—the same program Miss Fleuresaint originally enrolled in as a patient.
Miss Fleuresaint helps newly enrolled patients cope with their shifting circumstances and reassures them that HIV is, by no means, a death sentence. She accompanies patients to the onsite psychologist and provides support for people who are in the terrifying and overwhelming situation that she, herself, was in just a few years earlier.
“I can relate to the patients I see; I understand their experience, and I can tell them first-hand why they should keep up with all aspects of their treatment,” she says. “I love providing this kind of support to patients who are in the same situation I was in, and showing them that life can go on. SBHF’s SIDALE program allows people to live and not be defined by their disease.”
Miss Fleuresaint has the unique experience of being both patient and staff of the SIDALE program. With your support, she is providing compassionate care for people with HIV/AIDS and spreading hope from her own perspective as someone living, and thriving, with the same disease.