Cancer Survivor Gets Home for the Holidays as Part of the
LIVESTRONG(R) Foundation's Survivor Support Initiative
AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 12/20/12 -- The LIVESTRONG Foundation
hosted a special house warming this week for cancer survivor Jose
Antonio Ventura and his family as the culmination of the Survivor
Support Initiative, a project designed to help cancer survivors
facing exceptional challenges. For the past few months, the Ventura
family's home has been undergoing a renovation including interior and
exterior upgrades, improvements to the landscaping and new furniture
and appliances, in an effort to improve the quality of life for Jose
Antonio, who is battling metastatic bone cancer, and his family. The
renovation was made possible due to the generosity of many community
partners, including: Balfour Beatty Construction, The Bommarito
Group, Four Hands Furniture, H-E-B, HomeAway, Move Solutions Ltd.,
Redmon Construction, Rubbish Works and Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue.
"For me, LIVESTRONG means something wonderful," said Jose Antonio.
"LIVESTRONG is an institution that really helps."
"The Austin community has really stepped up to help the Ventura
family in a time of need," said Greg Lee, LIVESTRONG Foundation CFO.
"We appreciate all the organizations that donated their time, money
and services to help, and could not have completed this renovation
without their support."
Jose Antonio was one of the first clients to seek support from the
LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center, which opened in 2011 in the
underserved East Austin community and offers free, confidential help
with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany
a cancer diagnosis. As the Foundation learned more about him and his
family, it realized the Venturas were faced with overwhelming
challenges that were being precipitously worsened by Jose Antonio's
illness, including a house in declining shape.
Jose Antonio's diagnosis and subsequent stroke forced him to stop
working. Today, the family of five lives on the income of his wife
Maria, who makes less than $20,000 a year at her job in food service,
and they are faced with mounting medical debt. Even in tough times,
they do their best providing for their three children. Their son
Gustavo, 18, has gone above and beyond the responsibilities of an
average teenager, helping to care for not only his father, but also
his three-year-old niece, Zurayma, and seven-year-old nephew, Miguel.
The Ventura family's situation is a microcosm of a rapidly growing
issue among the U.S.'s Hispanic population. Cancer rates are
projected to increase by 142 percent by 2030, compared to 45 percent
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.
Throughout his treatment at Brackenridge Hospital and MD Anderson
Cancer Center, Jose Antonio has continued to seek support from the
Foundation's navigation services, which are available in English and
Spanish online, by phone and in person for anyone affected by cancer
-- whether you have cancer, or are a loved one, friend, health care
professional or caregiver of someone diagnosed.
Trained, bilingual navigators are available to help individuals
address a wide-range of needs including:
-- Emotional Support - assistance coping with a cancer diagnosis, help
accessing support groups, as well as peer-to-peer connections
-- Fertility Risks and Preservation Options - information on fertility
risks and help accessing discounted rates for fertility preservation
-- Insurance, Employment and Financial Concerns - information on
employment rights and benefits, financial assistance and debt
management, including insurance and billing issues as well as
medication co-pay assistance
-- Treatment Concerns - general cancer and treatment information, and
matching to clinical trials
People affected by cancer can access the Foundation's navigation
services the following ways:
-- By phone
-- (855) 220-7777 (English & Spanish)
-- www.LIVESTRONG.org/GetHelp (English)
-- www.LIVESTRONGEspanol.org (Spanish)
-- In person at the LIVESTRONGCancer Navigation Center
-- Address: 2201 East Sixth Street, Austin, Texas 78702
-- To schedule an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (512) 220-7777.
-- For more information, visit www.LIVESTRONG.org/GetHelp/Austin
Anyone interested in donating to the Survivor Support Initiative can
still 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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