Takisha Jenkins

Takisha Jenkins credits her benefits with helping her get healthy and maintain her well-being.

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Takisha Jenkins, a Medical Office Assistant at Cohen Children’s Medical Center – Northwell Health, and an 1199SEIU member for 17 years, has always been committed to staying healthy—and she relies on her Fund benefits to help her do so. In 2016, after suffering from an upset stomach, nausea and fatigue, she was diagnosed with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a serious condition that can cause abdominal pain, digestive problems and even malnutrition. Her gastroenterologist prescribed a two-week course of antibiotics that, without her Benefit Fund prescription drug benefit, could have cost as much as $2,000. “I was relieved that I didn’t have to pay anything,” said Takisha. “And they delivered my medication free of charge to my home!”

“I have relatives who are lively and active in their 60s and 70s. I hope if I follow all of the advice I’m getting, I can be like that too.”

Having lost her mother and her grandmother to cancer, Takisha knows how important preventive screenings can be, so she goes for regular checkups without fail. She also attends the Fund’s quarterly wellness workshops, as well as a Fund-sponsored annual health fair at work. Taking what she’s learned at these events, Takisha stays as active as possible. She’s created a home gym, where she practices yoga, works out with a punching bag, does strength training and uses an elliptical machine. Her exercise routine even helps keep her mild asthma in check, so she doesn’t need to rely on inhalers or other medications.

After recovering from her illness, Takisha also took her doctor’s advice and changed her diet by reducing her intake of sugar, bread and coffee, drinking more tea, and steaming vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. She has been symptom- and pain-free ever since—and after losing 20 pounds, she is now at what she feels is a more comfortable weight. Now that her medical conditions are under control and she’s following a healthy lifestyle, Takisha continues to get wellness inspiration from the Benefit Fund, such as the Protecting Our Health calendars she has on display in her home. She also looks forward to reading each issue of For Your Benefit. “I get motivated by the stories of people like me, who’ve changed their lifestyles to eat healthier and exercise more,” she explained. “I have relatives who are lively and active in their 60s and 70s. I hope if I follow all of the advice I’m getting, I can be like that too.”

What Do Your Benefits Mean to You?

You count on your health benefits to support you in your efforts to stay healthy, whether it’s by getting regular checkups, keeping a chronic condition under control or just improving your lifestyle in general. But has there ever been a time when your health coverage literally saved your life or the life of a loved one? If so, we’d like to hear from you. To share your story with your fellow members in an upcoming issue of For Your Benefit, please contact the Fund at Communications@1199Funds.org.

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