At the age of 43, Maurice has an admirable outlook on life; a sheer appreciation for every second of every day. The recent Cincinnati COOKS! graduate has overcome serious medical hurdles that could have claimed his life at an early age.
“When I was a kid, I was told I wouldn’t live to be a teenager.”
Facing Life Obstacles
Maurice was born with several heart defects. A normal heart points to the left side of the chest. He was born with his heart pointing to the right. Maurice also had an irregular number of heart chambers.
Beating the Odds
Maurice beat the odds he faced, but his disability created a new set of hurdles.
“I felt like I was worthless. I thought I couldn’t do anything. I felt like I had a foot already in the grave.”
Overcoming New Challenges
Maurice tried to put his best foot forward, but the economy and his health made it difficult for him to maintain a stable job. Then, in the summer of 2012, Maurice’s life would change forever. After undergoing a heart transplant, he says he slipped into cardiac arrest, spiraling to the brink of death. Once again, beating the odds at hand, Maurice came out of recovery determined.
Turning His Life Around
“After my heart transplant, I decided I was going to be a new person.”
Maurice heard about Cincinnati COOKS!, the Freestore Foodbank’s culinary job training program, from his family. With a heart for cooking, he decided to enroll.
A Recipe For Success
“It means a new life. It means not wasting away. They taught me something brand new.” Maurice found motivation in the kitchen, working with his colleagues and improving his culinary and job interviewing skills. Maurice has a new heart and a new chance at life.
“People sometimes don’t realize how lucky you are to be able to do the smallest things in life. I love being alive. I live life to the fullest now.”
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