NEW BRAUNFELS — New Braunfels resident Jane Wagensuehr is homebound, but she’s not letting her physical limitations prevent her from helping improve the lives of others.
“I have many medical issues, but I’m still mentally able to think and do,” she said. “So, I said a prayer one day and I asked, ‘Please use me.’”
Sure enough, she got an answer.
“I knew of someone who is 43, blind, diabetic and on dialysis,” Wagensuehr said.
Wagensuehr’s friend asked her for a Bible and some books, since she can read with a magnifying lens during her session.
Wagensuehr knows there are 25 seats at the DaVita New Braunfels Dialysis and that their patients do three sessions, either on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Patient sessions usually take four hours and though there was literature at the dialysis center, it was not enough to last through the sessions.
“They run out of material to read, so I decided they needed magazines and books,” Wagensuehr said. “So, I came up with this idea between her church, the United Methodist Church, and the Friends of the New Braunfels Library to help out.”
Her church donated a bookcase and the magazine rack.
Because she cannot physically pick up the books and magazines, she asked for help. Her adult children pick up books from donors, and her friend, Margaret Brazle, a member of the Friends of the New Braunfels Library, helps out as well.
“My doctor has a box for me to pick up next week,” she said. “My neighbors on my street that I called are all pitching in the best they can.”
Volunteers visit doctors’ offices and ask if they are done with the magazines at the end of the month. Once they receive them, Wagensuehr and Brazle go through the pages to check if they’re clean.
“I know the patients are really happy about this, they’re really enjoying it,” she said.
Another benefit for the dialysis patients is that they get to keep the reading material, whether it’s a book or a magazine.
Recently, the Seguin location has started doing the same. The expansion has Wagensuehr “tickled pink.”
“Now that we added another place, my goodness!” she said. “Now, I really need to start calling more people.”
Brazle said the magazines are going over better than the books.
She is the go-to person, since she works with the New Braunfels Friends of the Library.
“That’s how I became involved with it,” Brazle said.
She said anybody wanting to donate can mark their donation for “Friends of the Library” with the word “dialysis” underneath.
Wagensuehr is excited that the Seguin location is creating its own patient library, and Brazle said she hopes Seguin’s Friends of the Library will get involved like the New Braunfels group has.
“There’s only so much I can do,” she said.
Wagensuehr is happy she was able to start the program and said it’s a blessing to do the right thing.
“If more people would go inside those units and see their struggle in those chairs that they sit, it’s a very heartwarming experience,” she said. “I’m glad I could do what I could.”
To donate magazines and books for the DaVita New Braunfels Dialysis, visit the Friends of the New Braunfels Public Library in the bookstore at the New Braunfels Public Library, 700 Common Street.
For more information, call 830-221-4300.