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At Because Market, our customers are the center of everything we do. Our mission is to help them lead fuller, more independent lives — and we draw inspiration from their journeys. With the Customer Spotlight series, we hope their stories inspire you too.
This month, we got to know Marylyn S., an 85-year-old retired school teacher who committed her life to serving others.
Marylyn is a native of Fresno, California, where she came from a large family with three sisters and one brother. Coming from a deeply religious background, faith was essential to her childhood. After graduating high school, she felt called to serve God and joined a convent. She was a devoted sister, but two car accidents just three months apart left her in so much pain that she had to go.
Leaving the convent meant Marylyn had to start over and find a new path in life. However, she proved resilient and soon found a new calling—educating and caring for children from poor communities in Los Angeles. As a kindergarten teacher, she improved the lives of others by giving underprivileged kids a chance to have experiences they otherwise wouldn't.
She fondly recalls taking her students to visit the San Diego Zoo with the funds raised from a newspaper drive. "Many of these children had never been on a freeway, let alone to San Diego," she explained. After the excursion, the zoo contacted the school to report that the students were great guests. Marylyn describes the experience as "the perfect trip."
Her happiest moments reflect the importance of faith in Marylyn's life. She says her best memories were her First Holy Communion and becoming a professed nun.
Another of her happiest moments was when she married Delbert, the love of her life. The two met on August 14, 1977, and went on their first official date later that year. In June 1978, they became husband and wife. The couple enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada during their 43 years of marriage.
On December 19, 2021, Delbert passed away peacefully in his sleep. Losing the love of her life has been difficult for Marylyn, but she takes comfort in her memories and her faith. She has turned to praying often throughout the day, explaining that she’s getting closer to God.
Marylyn says one of the most important lessons she learned is "to be very understanding and empathetic to people in life with their illnesses." Many things were responsible for teaching her this, but her health struggles helped her gain this wisdom.
Six months ago, Marylyn was facing challenges due to urinary incontinence. She describes her life then as "difficult and uncomfortable." Because she was afraid of leakage accidents, she had resorted to wearing two pads in her underwear. Even then, she would still have wet clothing during the day and wake up soaked in the morning. Incontinence had also led to painful skin sores. Trying to maintain her supply of protective pads was also causing her financial strain.
Marylyn resigned to the idea that “this was the way it was” until she received an ad for Because Market on her phone. The offer of a free starter package caught her eye, and she decided to try our protective underwear.
When the starter pack arrived, she was eager to try the underwear and immediately saw the difference. She found that our Premium Maximum Plus Underwear for Women held more urine and provided the protection from leaks that she needed. Not only that, but the higher cut provided a fit more similar to underwear, allowing her to feel more comfortable throughout the day.
After discovering Because, Marylyn says she has more freedom and less worry. She carries four pairs of underwear in her purse and our scented Biodegradable Bags for easy disposal on the go. Now, she wakes up dry and comfortable every morning, and her skin has healed.
She feels more confident and secure going out without worrying about leaks and incontinence odors. She even used our YouTube video to master removing her incontinence underwear without taking off her pants and shoes. Because products have also given her more room in her budget. Now that she's no longer purchasing separate products, she saves $150 a month.
Marylyn says, "the hardest thing you'll ever do is get old," but the secret to happiness is "accepting any situation." Today, Marylyn lives in San Juan Capistrano, California, and finds the climate better for her asthma. With her newfound sense of security, Marylyn is now free to focus on the things she loves — like tuning into the soap operas she’s enjoyed for more than 40 years or settling in with a good book.
Prayer will also continue to remain at the center of Marylyn’s life. She says faith has been her greatest gift, and the advice she would pass along to others is "to cherish the faith" because through everything, "God never lets go."