Where are they now? Fazal Ahmad family

Mukhtar Abdul Jabbar, 20, a refugee from Afghanistan by way of Pakistan, is soon going to be able to better support his family — mother Uliya Fazal Ahmad, 49, and siblings Palwasha, 18, Nisar, 17, Nazi, 16, and Feroza, 13.

The Fazal Ahmad family — Mukhtar Abdul Jabbar, left, Feroza Abdul Jabbar, Palwasha Abdul Jabbar, , Uliya Fazal Ahmad, Nazi Abdul Jabbar and Nisar Abdul Jabbar —
arrived from Afghanistan last summer. They are enjoying a meal at their apartment in Austin.
Rodolfo Gonzalez/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Abdul Jabbar and his family were part of the Statesman Season for Caring program last year. Every year, the Statesman tells the story of 12 families who have been nominated to the program by local nonprofit organizations. We invite the community and local businesses to donate a gift of money or goods or services on the families’ wish lists. Donations are given to the featured families first, and then, every year, Season for Caring funds help hundreds of other families through the selected nonprofit agencies.

Last year, Season for Caring raised more than $840,000 to help the community. On Nov. 26, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families who need your help, but first, we take a look back at the families from last year and share how they are doing.

He is now attending a program to learn how to repair heating and air-conditioning systems as well as help him learn English. He’s also working at the Driskill Hotel as a dishwasher and been able to get a car and become engaged. Nisar has pickaed up a job at Whataburger. Nisar, Palwasha, Nazi and Feroza are still in school.

Fazal Ahmad, who had trouble walking because of a bad ankle, was able to connect with doctors and is now taking medication to help with the pain. She’s also taking classes to improve her English.

“Everything is good, and we are very happy,” Mukhtar Abdul Jabbar says.

 

 

To make a donation to Season for Caring, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Where are they now? Vasquez Olais family

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This year, Keila Vasquez, 20, was able to start school at Avenue Five Institute to become a cosmetologist. “It was something I wanted to do since I was young,” she says. She’ll be through with school in about eight months, which will help her support her family — partner Luis Olais, 22, and their two children, Delilah, 3, and Noah, 1.

Liliana De La Paz Carrillo gets her son Juan Diego ready to use the new ramp at their home. Juan Diego and his brother, Jesús, have spinal muscular atrophy type 2, which causes a weakening and loss of muscle mass. Both boys have wheelchairs, and Juan Diego now has a ventilator and a feeding tube. The disease comes with a life expectancy of 20. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

Vasquez and her family were part of the Statesman Season for Caring program last year. Every year, the Statesman tells the story of 12 families who have been nominated to the program by local nonprofit organizations. We invite the community and local businesses to donate a gift of money or goods or services on the families’ wish lists. Donations are given to the featured families first, and then, every year, Season for Caring funds help hundreds of other families through the selected nonprofit agencies.

Last year, Season for Caring raised more than $840,000 to help the community. On Nov. 26, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families who need your help, but first, we take a look back at the families from last year and share how they are doing.

Olais and Delilah both have a genetic syndrome that affects connective tissue and causes chronic pain. This year the family found out that Noah does not have it.

Season for Caring, she says, “They did so much.” The family moved into its own apartment using Season for Caring funds. It was furnished with a donation from Star Furniture.

The family is on its way toward self-sufficiency. With pride, Vasquez says of their apartment lease, “We renewed the second year again by ourselves.”

To make a donation to Season for Caring, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

Where are they now? Noheli family

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This year Issa Noheli, 63, received something he had dreamed about: a prosthetic leg. He lost his leg 20 years ago in an attack on his Rwandan refugee camp. He is working with a physical therapist to learn how to walk better with his new leg.

March, he received his first-ever prosthetic leg from the Hanger Clinic paid for by Season for Caring donations. Noheli tries out his new leg with the help of prosthetist Jennifer Marchel. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Noheli and his family were part of the Statesman Season for Caring program last year. Every year, the Statesman tells the story of 12 families who have been nominated to the program by local nonprofit organizations. We invite the community and local businesses to donate a gift of money or goods or services on the families’ wish lists. Donations are given to the featured families first, and then, every year, Season for Caring funds help hundreds of other families through the selected nonprofit agencies.

Last year, Season for Caring raised more than $840,000 to help the community. On Nov. 26, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families who need your help, but first, we take a look back at the families from last year and share how they are doing.

This year, Noheli’s oldest daughters were able to move out of the apartment and start their own lives. One got married. Noheli’s younger children are still in school.

Noheli attends English as a second language classes regularly.

Lubna Zeidan, who works with the family on behalf of Interfaith Action of Central Texas, got to see how much of a difference Season for Caring was able to make. She remembers he came to a class, “he was standing, waiting for us to notice that he had two legs,” she says. “The pride on his face … to have that dream fulfilled.”

To make a donation to Season for Caring, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

 

Where are they now? Terry Markland

Terry Markland, 66, broke his feet in a work-related accident 30 years before and was no longer able to walk. National Seating and Mobility donated an electric wheelchair to Markland.

Terry Markland tries out his new power chair, donated by Britt Sitzes, branch manager of National Seating and Mobility. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman

Markland was part of the Statesman Season for Caring program last year. Every year, the Statesman tells the story of 12 families who have been nominated to the program by local nonprofit organizations. We invite the community and local businesses to donate a gift of money or goods or services on the families’ wish lists. Donations are given to the featured families first, and then, every year, Season for Caring funds help hundreds of other families through the selected nonprofit agencies.

Last year, Season for Caring raised more than $840,000 to help the community. On Nov. 26, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families who need your help, but first, we take a look back at the families from last year and share how they are doing.

“It’s opened up a life for me,” he says of the wheelchair and Season for Caring. “I was homebound. I couldn’t get my mail or see anyone. It allows me to be sociable. I can ride it around the neighborhood.”

The chair and knowing that people cared about him, he says, “takes me out of my depression.”

Season for Caring, he says, “really helped me out. … It’s a world of difference.”

To make a donation to Season for Caring, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring.