The LIVESTRONG(R) Foundation Helps East Austin Cancer Survivor

The LIVESTRONG(R) Foundation Helps East Austin Cancer Survivor With
Home Renovation as Part of Its Survivor Support Initiative 
AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 11/08/12 --  Today, the LIVESTRONG
Foundation hosted a hard hat tour in East Austin at the home of bone
cancer survivor Jose Antonio Ventura, whose home is undergoing a
renovation as part of the LIVESTRONG Survivor Support Initiative. The
Survivor Support Initiative, an effort designed to help cancer
survivors facing exceptional challenges, is made possible because of
the generosity of community partners including Balfour Beatty
Construction, The Bommarito Group, HomeAway, Move Solutions Ltd.,
Redmon Construction, Rubbish Works and Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue.
The home renovation will include interior and exterior upgrades and
is expected to be completed by mid-December in time for the holidays. 
"In addition to our steadfast commitment to serving people affected
by cancer, the LIVESTRONG Foundation is also committed to bettering
our community," said Greg Lee, Chief Financial Officer for the
LIVESTRONG Foundation. "It's heartening to have so many community
partners join our efforts to give the Ventura family a better quality
of life and we are grateful for their generosity." 
"The LIVESTRONG Foundation has helped us a lot," said Ventura. "They
have given us the confidence that we can go on. And they have helped
us with many of the practical challenges we've faced because of
cancer. We are excited about the plans to renovate our home and are
very thankful for everything the Foundation and their staff are doing
to help our family." 
The Ventura family represents the growing Hispanic population in the
United States. Cancer rates for Hispanics are projected to increase
by 142% by 2030, compared to 45% for the overall U.S. cancer
incidence. Hispanics, who as a demographic tend to have lower
incomes, less education and less insurance, have lower survival rates
for most cancers, which may reflect less access to timely,
high-quality treatment. The Foundation has recently expanded its
outreach to the Hispanic community in an effort to close the gap in
the health disparities for Hispanics diagnosed with cancer.  
In August 2010, Jose Antonio sought support from the LIVESTRONG
Cancer Navigation Center for a number of practi
cal and financial
obstacles related to his illness. As the Foundation learned more
about him and his family, their neighbors in the East Austin
community, they realized the Venturas were faced with overwhelming
challenges that were being precipitously worsened by Jose Antonio's
illness.  
For the past 16 years, Jose Antonio has made a living by working
manual labor jobs -- sweeping parking garages and streets and working
in kitchens. His hands tell the story of his hard life. A year after
being diagnosed with bone cancer, Jose Antonio suffered a stroke. He
currently receives care at Brackenridge Hospital and MD Anderson
Cancer Center. He is no longer able to work because of his illness
and that loss of income makes life even more difficult for this
family. 
Maria, Jose Antonio's wife, is now the only bread winner in the
family. She works in food service making less than $20,000 a year to
support a family of five, but wants the best for her children and is
determined to give it to them. 
Gustavo, the couple's 18-year-old son, is wise beyond his years. In
addition to caring for his father, he is also helping to care for his
niece, three-year-old Zurayma, and nephew, six-year-old Miguel, both
of whom the family recently adopted. Even in the face of adversity,
he manages to excel in school. His hope is to graduate from high
school and gain a scholarship to attend a special academic program at
the University of North Texas in Denton.  
As Foundation staff assisted Jose Antonio, they learned that the
Ventura family home was in a state of extreme disrepair. Because of
mounting medical debt related to Jose Antonio's treatment, the family
could not afford badly-needed repairs which include window
replacements, plumbing upgrades, basic home security and a kitchen
renovation. The Foundation selected the Venturas for special
assistance as part of the Survivor Support Initiative. 
Though many generous partners have already donated their time and
services to this effort, cash donations are needed to get the family
essential household items. Anyone interested in donating to the
Survivor Support Initiative can do so at
LIVESTRONG.org/SurvivorSupportInitiative. 
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
 The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides
free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial,
emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease.
Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance
Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand --
LIVESTRONG -- and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their
families. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation
has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since
its inception, the Foundation has raised nearly $500 million to
support cancer survivors and served 2.5 million people affected by
the disease. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org. 
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Contact: 
Rae Bazzarre
(512) 279-8367
press@livestrong.org 
 
 
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