Where are they now? Deloris Fields

Deloris Fields, 27, and her son, Connor, 1, have been able to move into a first-floor apartment in Taylor this year. Fields has stage four breast cancer which has been in her bones. She needed the first-floor apartment to make it easier on her.

Deloris Fields has her makeup applied by artist Kewal Hausmann in preparation for the 2017 Art Bra Austin in June. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

Fields 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.

At Art Bra Austin in June, Deloris Field holds up an image of her son, Connor, and says that she owes her all to him. Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman

Fields has returned to the hospital recently, but she was able to walk the runway at Art Bra Austin in June. She also was able to have some of the damage done by cancer treatments repaired to her teeth through a donation of dental care from Capital Area Dental Foundation.

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

Where are they now? Ashley McGill

Ashley McGill, 31, has been on disability insurance from her job after a head injury from a car accident. She continues to see doctors and hopes for a treatment that will allow her to return to work.

 

Gifts donated by the community at Grisham Middle School take up a much of the living room in the apartment where Ashley McGill lives with her children, Preston Mao and Alyanna McGill-Mao. Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Ashley McGill 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.

Season for Caring, McGill says, “was such a major help and such a relief to be able to have the assistance I did have. It was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders so I could breathe.”

Her family got to light the Christmas tree at the Driskill Hotel and stay the night. They also were surrounded by love and Christmas presents when Grisham Middle School completed their wish list.

Season for Caring also helped keep a roof over the family’s head at times when her disability payment didn’t arrive. She also is finally able to sleep in a bed again. Factory Mattress donated an adjustable bed to her that allows her to sleep with her head propped up.

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

Where are they now? Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria

Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 29, is also in school in a pastry and culinary arts program. He grew up in foster care after his parents died and was then homeless

Saleem Assaf of Better Hearing Center of Austin fits Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria for hearing aids. Nicole Villalpando/American-Statesman

Zuñiga-Echeverria 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.

One of the things he really wanted was a green scooter. He was able to get one, though it has needed repairs at times. He also was able to get new hearing aids from Better Hearing Center of Austin and eyeglasses from Northwest Hills Eye Care.

“Things I got made my life much easier,” he says. “I have my own transport (kind of) and I am able to hear slightly better, and see well, so it made an impact to be more independent.”

 

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

Where are they now? Maricela Garcia

Maricela Garcia, 43, will begin school in January to become a certified nursing assistant. This will help her support her son, Raymond, 10, who has Renpenning syndrome, which causes intellectual disabilities.

Maricela Garcia cares for her son Raymond Alejandro Martinez-Garcia at their apartment. JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Garcia 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.

This year, Garcia was able to learn how to drive and received a car through Season for Caring.

“It was beautiful,” she says of what the program did for her family. “Everything I need for Raymond, I got. Thank you. Thank you.”

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

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

[cmg_anvato video =”3997394″]

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.

 

Last day to give to Season for Caring for this year

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

Today is the last day to give to Season for Caring for the 2016-2017 Season for Caring.

Gifts made through today go to help the families we’ve been highlighting since November as well as the featured nonprofit agencies that nominated them. Your gift will help the agencies do more with Season for Caring funds for these families as well as for hundreds of others.

Who are the featured families and which agencies are you helping?

Jacob Rodriguez-Lopez, 26, lost his wife last year and his daughter this month, both to cancer. Hospice Austin at 512-342-4726 or visit hospiceaustin.org.

Terry Markland, 65, is unable to walk because of 30-year-old injury. Family Eldercare at 512-450-0844 or visit familyeldercare.org.

Ashley McGill, 31, has neurological damage following a car accident and has two children. Wonders & Worries at 512-329-5757 or visit wondersandworries.org.

Deloris Fields, 27, found out her breast cancer had spread to her bones the day after her son, Connor, was born a year ago. Breast Cancer Resource Center at 512-817-9775 or visit bcrc.org.

Issa Noheli, 62, and his family came to Austin after living for 17 years in refugee camps in Central Africa. Interfaith Action of Central Texas at 512-386-9145 or visit interfaithtexas.org.

Sheila King, 49, lost her 15-year-old son to suicide in July and her husband and mother to cancer in September. CareBox Program at 512-296-2180 or visit careboxprogram.org.

Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 28, has a hearing loss and grew up in foster care and was homeless. LifeWorks at 512-735-2473 or visit lifeworksaustin.org.

Maricela Garcia, 42, is raising son Raymond, 9, who has Renpenning syndrome, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Foundation Communities at 512-610-7391 or visit foundcom.org.

Rosalba Martínez-López died Dec. 2 from cervical cancer, leaving four children and a grandchild. Care Communities at 512-459-5883 or visit carecommunities.org.

Keila Vasquez, 20, and Luis Olais, 21, and their two children are starting a life on their own with a rare genetic disorder. SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) at 512-590-3114 or visit safeaustin.org.

Liliana De La Paz, 30, and Juan Martínez Domínguez, 29, have two sons in wheelchairs with a genetic disorder that has a life expectancy of 20. Any Baby Can at 512-454-3743 or visit anybabycan.org.

Uliya Fazal Ahmad, 48,  came with her five children to the United States this year from Afghanistan by way of Pakistan. Caritas of Austin at 512-646-1277 or visit caritasofaustin.org.

Season for Caring

• 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/seasonforcaring.

• Find more stories, videos and photos of all the families, plus what each family still needs at statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

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

Only six more days to give to Season for Caring for this year

Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 28, poses for a portrait in the community garden where he grows vegetables and herbs he uses for cooking at his apartment complex. Rodolfo Gonzalez AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 28, poses for a portrait in the community garden where he grows vegetables and herbs he uses for cooking at his apartment complex. Rodolfo Gonzalez AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

We’re coming to the end of the 2016-2017 Season for Caring, which has broken all kinds of records. To date, we have raised $824,580.83.

There is still time to make your donation. Gifts made through Tuesday go to help the featured families you’ve been reading about since Nov. 27 as well as the featured nonprofit agencies that nominated them. Your gift will help the agencies do more with Season for Caring funds for these families as well as for hundreds of others.

Who are the featured families and which agencies are you helping?

Jacob Rodriguez-Lopez, 26, lost his wife last year and his daughter this month, both to cancer. Hospice Austin at 512-342-4726 or visit hospiceaustin.org.

Terry Markland, 65, is unable to walk because of 30-year-old injury. Family Eldercare at 512-450-0844 or visit familyeldercare.org.

Ashley McGill, 31, has neurological damage following a car accident and has two children. Wonders & Worries at 512-329-5757 or visit wondersandworries.org.

Deloris Fields, 27, found out her breast cancer had spread to her bones the day after her son, Connor, was born a year ago. Breast Cancer Resource Center at 512-817-9775 or visit bcrc.org.

Issa Noheli, 62, and his family came to Austin after living for 17 years in refugee camps in Central Africa. Interfaith Action of Central Texas at 512-386-9145 or visit interfaithtexas.org.

Sheila King, 49, lost her 15-year-old son to suicide in July and her husband and mother to cancer in September. CareBox Program at 512-296-2180 or visit careboxprogram.org.

Francisco Zuñiga-Echeverria, 28, has a hearing loss and grew up in foster care and was homeless. LifeWorks at 512-735-2473 or visit lifeworksaustin.org.

Maricela Garcia, 42, is raising son Raymond, 9, who has Renpenning syndrome, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Foundation Communities at 512-610-7391 or visit foundcom.org.

Rosalba Martínez-López died Dec. 2 from cervical cancer, leaving four children and a grandchild. Care Communities at 512-459-5883 or visit carecommunities.org.

Keila Vasquez, 20, and Luis Olais, 21, and their two children are starting a life on their own with a rare genetic disorder. SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) at 512-590-3114 or visit safeaustin.org.

Liliana De La Paz, 30, and Juan Martínez Domínguez, 29, have two sons in wheelchairs with a genetic disorder that has a life expectancy of 20. Any Baby Can at 512-454-3743 or visit anybabycan.org.

Uliya Fazal Ahmad, 48,  came with her five children to the United States this year from Afghanistan by way of Pakistan. Caritas of Austin at 512-646-1277 or visit caritasofaustin.org.

Season for Caring

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/seasonforcaring.

• Find more stories, videos and photos of all the families, plus what each family still needs at statesman.com/seasonforcaring.

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