Remaining wishes: family of Rosalba Martinez-Lopez

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

Rosabla Martínez-López hold her granddaughter Sofia Guerrero Mondragón as her daughter Kimberley Mondragón-Martínez looks on during their visit at the Hospice Austin's Christopher House. Rosalba Martínez-López, who has stage IV cervical cancer. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Rosabla Martínez-López died in December. She holds her granddaughter Sofia Guerrero Mondragón as her daughter Kimberley Mondragón-Martínez looks on during their visit at the Hospice Austin’s Christopher House in October. 
RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The children of Rosalba Martínez-López are starting this year with a lot of sadness. The 37-year-old mother died of cervical cancer on Dec. 2. 

Since then Season for Caring funds helped pay for her funeral. The heirs of a man, who was also served by Care Communities, donated a mobile home to her children. They are looking for a lot to put the house on.

 

They still have a few items on their wish list:

  • An attorney to help them apply receive food stamps, health insurance and more.
  • Gently used car.
  • Driving lessons.
  • Eye exam and glasses.
  • Day care.
  • Bus passes.
  • Tuition to ACC.
  • Gift cards to grocery stores, clothing stores.
  • Laptops.
  • Gift cards to a furniture store.

For more information about the Martínez-López Mondragón family or to help with an item on their wish list, contact Care Communities, 512-459-5883, carecommunities.org.

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.

Remaining wishes: Martinez De La Paz family

Liliana, mother and husband Juan with their children Jesus, 2, and Juan Diego, 9 in their Austin home. The De La Paz family has two sons with spinal muscular atrophy, which is a genetic disorder that limits their mobility. Jesus, 2, and his brother Juan Diego, 9, have a life expectancy of about 20. Erich Schlegel/For American-Statesman
Liliana, mother and husband Juan with their children Jesus, 3, and Juan Diego, 9 in their Austin home.
Erich Schlegel/For American-Statesman

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

Liliana De La Paz, 30, and Juan Martínez Domínguez, 29, have two sons with spinal muscular atrophy type 2, which causes a weakening and loss of muscle mass. Both Juan Diego, 9, and Jesús, 3 have wheelchairs, and Juan Diego now has a ventilator and a feeding tube. The disease comes with a life expectancy of 20.

SpawGlass, a commercial real estate construction company, will work to make their home accessible, and real estate attorney Mark Hawkins of Armbrust & Brown is going to help the family establish clear ownership of the house, so that work can be done.

Immigration attorney Jeff Peek of Peek & Toland has agreed to take the parents’ cases to become legal residents. Once that happens, they can receive drivers’ licenses and a van that has a wheelchair ramp that has been donated.

They still have a few items on their wish list:

  • Gift cards to H-E-B, Target and Walmart.
  • Dressers to store medical equipment.
  • Electric blankets.
  • Memory foam pillows.
  • A recliner.
  • A tall dining room table.

To find out more or give an item on the wish list, call Any Baby Can at 512-454-3743 or visit anybabycan.org.

 

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.

Remaining wishes: Uliya Fazal Ahmad

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

 

The Fazal Ahmad family -- Mukhtar Abdul Jabbar, 19, left, Feroza Abdul Jabbar, 12, Palwasha Abdul Jabbar, 17, Uliya Fazal Ahmad, 48, Nazi Abdul Jabbar, 15, and Nisar Abdul Jabbar, 16 -- arrived from Afghanistan last summer. They are enjoying a meal at their apartment in Austin. Rodolfo Gonzalez/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The Fazal Ahmad family — Mukhtar Abdul Jabbar, 20, left, Feroza Abdul Jabbar, 13, Palwasha Abdul Jabbar, 18, Uliya Fazal Ahmad, 49, Nazi Abdul Jabbar, 16, and Nisar Abdul Jabbar, 15 —
arrived from Afghanistan last summer. They are enjoying a meal at their apartment in Austin.
Rodolfo Gonzalez/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Uliya Fazal Ahmad, 49, and her five children came to America last summer after first fleeing Afghanistan to Pakistan. She was protecting her then 14-year-old daughter from marrying a man she didn’t feel was suitable for her.

Since Season for Caring began, an Austin lawyer has purchased to laptops to help the family better learn English.  Readers also donated furniture and many household items.

The family still have many needs:

  • Help getting an MRI on Fazal Ahmad’s ankle to see if it can be repaired.
  • A pain specialist to help her with her ankle.
  • Dental care for the children.
  • English tutoring.
  • Gift cards to H-E-B, Walmart and clothing stores.

To to find out more about the Fazal Ahmad family or fulfill one of their wishes, contact Caritas of Austin, 512-646-1277, caritasofaustin.org.

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.

Fifth-graders at Lake Pointe Elementary do extra chores to help Season for Caring

Jacob Rodriguez-Lopez plays with his daughter Emely Rodriguez-Aviles. Kelly West/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Jacob Rodriguez-Lopez plays with his daughter Emely Rodriguez-Aviles.
Kelly West/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The students in MaryAnne Malicki’s fifth-grade class at Lake Pointe Elementary in the Lake Travis school district were hard at work in December.

They raised $360 by doing extra chores such as pulling weeds, mowing the lawn and helping their neighbors. Some gave money from their own savings. It all went to helping Jacob Rodriguez-Lopez.  “You, Mr. Rodriguez-Lopez, inspired my children to be better people. At a time of year when children usually ask for more materialistic items, these children asked for more chores knowing that they were making a difference in someone else’s life,” Malicki wrote in her letter to him.

It’s the second year that her class has selected a Season for Caring recipient and done extra chores to earn money for that recipient. Last year, they earned $384.82 to help Gordon Meeler, a disabled veteran who was unable to reach his bathroom.

Rodriguez-Lopez had an unbelievably tough few months. He lost his wife to cervical cancer in August and was now alone to raise 4-year-old daughter Emely, who had Down syndrome and other medical complications. On Dec. 9, he found out that Emely had leukemia. On Friday, she died from complications from a respiratory infection while getting treatment. 

Malicki wrote in her letter to Rodriguez-Lopez last month: “I hope that … you know that there are many fifth-graders at Lake Pointe Elementary who have been sending you blessings each day … blessings to give you hope … blessings to bring your cheer and blessings that your Christmas wishes will be granted!”

Her class read all the stories of all the Season for Caring families and voted to help Rodriguez-Lopez, who was nominated by Hospice Austin.

“We are all very sorry and humbled by the tragedy of the loss of your wife, but the photography of you and your Emely captured our hearts. The love you have for your child and for making life better for her was captured in that one photo.”

The class made a video for Rodriguez-Lopez of themselves wishing him a Merry Christmas.

It’s not too late to make your Season for Caring donation. Donate now through Jan. 31.

• To make a monetary donation to Season for Caring, send it to P.O. Box 50066, Austin, TX 78763-0066 or go online to statesman.com/season-for-caring-2016/.

• Find more stories, videos and photos of all the families at statesman.com/season-for-caring-2016/ .

• To learn more about making a donation of an item or a service, call 512-445-3590 or email community@statesman.com.

Remaining wishes: Terry Markland

Terry Markland, 65, is living in an independent senior center after recently being homeless. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Terry Markland, 65, is living in an independent senior center after recently being homeless.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

After years of being unable to get around because of feet damaged in a work accident and bad knees, Terry Markland, 65, is zooming around his apartment in a motorized wheelchair from National Seating and Mobility. The Austin Founder Lions Club provided eye care and eyeglasses as well as Dallas Cowboys gear, and the Capital Area Dental Foundation is seeing to his dental needs, as they have for all the Season for Caring families who needed it.

Markland still has a few items left on his wish list:

  • Financial help with knee replacement surgery and in-home physical therapy.
  • Help with utilities.
  • Electric washer and dryer
  • Plastic floor mats.
  • CapMetro Access booklets.
  • Gift cards to H-E-B and Dennys.
  • Movie theater passes.

To help Terry Markland with one of his needs, call Family Eldercare at 512-450-0844 or visit familyeldercare.org.

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.

Remaining wishes: King family

Sheila King and her niece Katelyn Splude share a quiet moment on the family property outside of Dripping Springs. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Sheila King and her niece Katelyn Splude share a quiet moment on the family property outside of Dripping Springs.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

Sheila King, 49, lost her 15-year-old son to suicide in July and her husband and mother to cancer in September, within days of finding out they had been chosen for Season for Caring.

Today, Austin’s Couch Potatoes is moving in the Kings’ new furniture — bedroom sets for Sheila King, her son Michael King, 24, and his wife Lena, 20, and niece Katelyn, 16; living room furniture and a dining room table and chairs for six people.

Their home has been professionally cleaned and on Friday, they will receive new granite kitchen counters and quartz bathroom counters as well as sinks and faucets from New Stone Concepts.

They’ve also received new mattresses from Factory Mattress and dental care from Capital Area Dental Foundation. 

They still have many items on their wish list:

House repairs services.
Bedroom and bathroom addition.
Central heat check-up and air conditioner window unit replacement.
New septic system.
Deep freezer.
Electric stove/oven.
Washer.
Queen electric blankets.
Sheets and comforters, twin, full and queen.
Throw blankets.
Car seat.
Stroller.
High chair.
Baby bathtub.
Bibs.
Toy box.
Nursery dresser and storage cubbies.
Feeding bottles.
Gift cards to H-E-B, Home Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Babies “R” Us. HEB gift cards
School supplies for Katelyn.
Laptops and gaming / programming computer.
Acrylic paint and brushes.
Electronic sketchpad.
Vision check ups.
Two reliable family cars
Car insurance
Jon boat with 25 hp motor and fishing supplies.
Reliable cell phones
Record player to play Harrell.
Fuzzy socks.
Riding lawnmower
Water delivery service for 6 months – 1 year
Memorial stones.
Driver’s education for Katelyn.

To help, call the CareBox Program at 512-296-2180 or visit careboxprogram.org.

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.

Remaining wishes: Noheli family

Issa Noheli, 61, looks down at his 1-year-old granddaughter Vanessa during a walk with his family outside of their apartment in south Austin. The Noheli family are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have resettled in Austin. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Issa Noheli, 62, looks down at his 1-year-old granddaughter Vanessa during a walk with his family outside of their apartment in south Austin. The Noheli family are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who have resettled in Austin. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

Issa Noheli, 62, and his family came to Austin after living for 17 years in refugee camps in Central Africa. When one of those camps was attacked, he was shot and lost his leg.

The giving for the Noheli family was slow, but some of the family’s wishes have begun to come true. An electric scooter for Noheli has been donated and the family’s agency, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, is hoping to negotiate a deal to use Season for Caring funds toward a prosthetic leg.

The family also has new mattresses from Factory Mattress and the agency bought bunk beds using Season for Caring funds.

The children received soccer balls and cleats from Soccer Assist and bikes from Waste ConnectionsWatch a video here.

They have many items on their wish list still:

• A gently used car.

• H-E-B, Walmart and Target gift cards
• Assistance in renting a four or five bedroom house inside Austin and close to a CapMetro bus route.
• Assistance repaying costs of air travel to move to U.S.
• Interpreter services for Issa’s medical and rehabilitation needs.
• Driving lessons for Issa and Colette.
• Child care of preschool for granddaughter Vanessa so her mother and grandmother can work during school hours.
• English learning software.
• One on one tutoring support.
• Bedroom dressers.
• Vacuum
• Car insurance.
• Gas cards.
• Laptop computer.
• Vocational counseling and training for Colette and her two adult daughters.
• A prosthetic leg and rehabilitation.
• Counseling and support for Issa.

To help, call Interfaith Action of Central Texas at 512-386-9145 or visit interfaithtexas.org.

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.

Remaining wishes: Deloris Fields

Deloris Fields kissed her son, Connor Guenther after picking him up from daycare. Fields was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer on Dec. 4, 2015, the day after her son was born. RESHMA KIRPALANI / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Deloris Fields kissed her son, Connor Guenther after picking him up from daycare. Fields was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer on Dec. 4, 2015, the day after her son was born. RESHMA KIRPALANI / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

When Deloris Fields, 27, found out her breast cancer had spread to her bones the day after her son, Connor, was born on Dec. 3, 2015, she didn’t think she would make it to that Christmas. But she did and to Connor’s first birthday and a second Christmas with him.

She is also working with Dr. Kent Macaulay who is helping her with dental care that will make eating less painful and is sleeping on a new bed from Factory Mattress.

Readers have also donated a camera and an external hard drive to help her save memories for Connor, as well as some of the kitchen items she wanted on her list and gifts for Connor.

While readers have made a lot of financial donations towards her, she has many, many items left on her wish list.
• First floor apartment, rent, utilities and moving expenses.
• Car and car insurance.
• Car Insurance
• Children’s shoes size 5 and 6
• Clothes for Connor size 18-24 months
• Laptop and printer
• Internet service.
• Small coffee table.
• Desk lamp and tower lamps.
• Five drawer dresser.
• Small love seat and couch.
• Platform bed with no legs.
• Gift cards to Adidas outlet, Babies “R” Us, Marshall’s, Toys “R” Us, Michaels, Walmart, Target and H-E-B

 

To help, call the Breast Cancer Resource Center at 512-817-9775 or visit bcrc.org.

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.

 

Remaining wishes: Vasquez Olais family

Delilah Olais, 3, kisses her brother Noah, who is now 4 months. Parents Luis Olais, 21, and Keila Vasquez, 19, worry that both their kids may have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which Luis Olais has. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Delilah Olais, 3, kisses her brother Noah, who is now 5 months. Parents Luis Olais, 21, and Keila Vasquez, 20, worry that both their kids may have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which Luis Olais has.
JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

It’s a new year, and a new start for many of the families featured in Statesman Season for Caring. This week we’re highlighting the progress they have made since we introduced you to them on Nov. 27, and what needs the families still have.

Today, Keila Vasquez, 20, and Luis Olais, 21, and their children Delilah, 3, and Noah, 5 months, are moving into a new apartment with new furniture from Star Furniture, which they picked out last week, and new beds from Factory Mattress.

Delilah and Olais have been diagnosed with a thin-tissue illness called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. The family is waiting to learn whether Noah also has it. The disease causes easy bruising, and it limits the kind of jobs possible for Olais, who works in the kitchen of a barbecue restaurant.

This week their agency SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone), which oversees both Safe Place and the Austin Children’s Shelter and other programs, is talking to Avenue Five Institute about the possibility of Vasquez starting cosmetology school, which has been her dream. 

Many of the items on Vasquez Olais family’s Season for Caring wish list have been met, but they still have some. To help, call SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) at 512-590-3114 or visit safeaustin.org.

  • Financial assistance with rent and utilities.
  • Child care.
  • Kitchen supplies.
  • Gift cards to H-E-B, Target and Walmart.
  • Laptops.
  • Internet service.
  • Financial assistance with medical care.

To help, call SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) at 512-590-3114 or visit safeaustin.org.

To make a financial donation, go to statesman.com/seasonforcaring or send a check to Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, Texas 78763-0066.