Single mother of five, Jenny Dodman, wasn’t just shocked when her cousin told her the news — she didn’t even believe it.
Behind the Lake Country resident’s back, Melinda Roth entered Dodman into the contest New Year New You on Black Press Media – a chance for a woman who works hard for her family and friends or is struggling with socioeconomic barriers to transition into a better phase of her life.
A waitress at a local Lake Country restaurant Dodman is raising five kids aged four to 19 with the help of family. She is also dealing with a recent family tragedy.
Her oldest daughter Shanna, who had been struggling with mental illness since she was 14-years-old, passed away while in visiting a friend in Alberta.
Dodman had moved to Alberta last February in hopes of helping her daughter Shanna with her mental health struggles, and she says they were on the right path.
“She got clean and she got help, but then I had to come back to B.C. for my littlest girl and her dad.”
But then on Thanksgiving day, Dodman got the phone call no mother wants to receive — Shanna had passed away.
From Thanksgiving to Christmas and now to Valentines Day, life for Dodman and her family hasn’t been easy. Getting back on her feet mentally and physically after the loss of her daughter has been painful for Dodman, which is why her cousin felt she would be a perfect candidate for the Black Press Media contest.
“I think Melinda (cousin) felt I had given up a lot of things and made a lot of sacrifices,” said Dodman. “She says I put everyone before myself and she says this would be nice for me to have something for myself.”
The prize includes, five sessions of Life Coaching or Counselling from Third Space Mind, a gym membership from Global Fitness, a membership to SpinCo, a style session with KimXO- one of Canada’s top fashionistas, hair and make-up styling, money for clothing and a wellness package.
“I don’t get breaks, good things don’t usually happen to me,” said the mother of five. “I am very humbled, I am very grateful, but this is a lot of attention. I feel like I don’t deserve it.”
But, if you ask Dodman’s best friend Tara Stewart, the working mother deserves this prize more than anything.
“She puts everyone ahead of herself, she is always helping everyone else and she always comes across as the strong one even though deep down I bet she doesn’t feel strong,” explained Steward. “She has been through a lot her whole life, so she really could use this.”
Dodman will start her counselling sessions as soon as possible and then plans on hitting the gym before her makeover with Kim XO.
“I hope to get some of my peace back, especially with the counselling,” she said. “I’ve been a mom since I was 18-years-old, so I haven’t made a lot of time for myself. The fact that this is all for me, is really empowering.”
Be sure to follow Black Press Media for updates on Dodman and her progress.