December 13, 2017 – How One Moment Changed Everything by Larry, CanCare Volunteer/Tongue Cancer Survivor

In 2003, I was diagnosed with stage 4 tongue cancer. I underwent chemo, radiation, and surgery – all successful.  I knew then that I needed to help others get through their journey but did not know how.

In 2007, I retired but still was not helping anyone.  Right after I retired, our church, Fellowship of the Woodlands as it was known then, hosted a CanCare health fair.  I went and knew then that CanCare was what I was looking for to give back.

I contacted CanCare and was in the June 2007 training class, class #40.  I had no idea when I signed up that CanCare even went to hospitals.  When it was talked about on Friday night, I was adamant that I would NOT do hospitals.  It was too intimidating.

But that changed.  By the time training was over, I had signed up for 4 different hospitals – Conroe Regional, Memorial Herman in the Woodlands, Methodist in the Medical Center, and North Cypress Medical Center.  I left Memorial Hermann in the Woodlands after I trained Renee and she took over so I could start going to Memorial Hermann Greater Heights.  I was recruited by Dr. Bob Boyd, our CanCare volunteer there.  I have been there ever since.

I remember one of my first patients in the radiation treatment center at Methodist that sold me on being a volunteer and more specifically at a hospital.    She was a lung cancer patient in her later 60s or early 70s.  She was in a wheel chair and had just recently been diagnosed.  She was slumped down in her wheelchair looking like she had lost her last friend.  I introduced myself and told her that I was a stage 4 tongue cancer survivor.  She got a big smile on her face, straightened up in her wheel chair, and asked” YOU ARE?” She was surprised.  It was obvious I made a big impact on her but what she didn’t realize was how big an impact she made on me.

From that point on I realized how important it was for a cancer patient to have contact with a cancer survivor and be introduced to CanCare.  I am in my tenth year as a hospital volunteer.

December 5, 2017 – Finding Hope by Ricardo, CanCare Volunteer/Acute Myeloid Leukemia Survivor 

During one of my many rough overnight stays at St. Lukes hospital, after receiving treatment for AML, I had a visit from a volunteer from CanCare. I had no idea at the time, didn’t even expect for someone other than my family and friends to visit me. He began telling me about the organization and what it was all about. He told me he was a cancer survivor and had gone through a similar situation as the one I was going through. We talked for a while, he mostly listened to me as I had a lot to say and the millions of questions asked since I knew he was a cancer survivor. It made me feel like there was hope and that if he made it, I could too. I was very thankful he took the time to visit patients going through a rough time like myself. I told him, “When I’m done with all this, I want to be a CanCare volunteer and here I am, thank God. I took the training with class #60 and have been a CanCare volunteer ever since.

November 20, 2017 

Thank you to Caregiver Action Network for providing ‘10 Tips for Caregivers’. As National Caregiver Month continues, CanCare would like to recognize and honor caregivers who devote countless hours to providing care to their loved ones. Please use these tips as a source of help along your caregiver journey.

  1. Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
  2. Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  3. Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  4. Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  5. Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks.
  6. Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
  7. Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  8. Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
  9. Make sure legal documents are in order.
  10. Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

Find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Please remember, if you have been diagnosed with cancer or are a caregiver to someone with cancer, and need one-on-one emotional support during or after treatment, we have trained support volunteers who are here for you. If you or anyone you know needs one-on-one emotional support, please contact us at 713.461.0028.

November 17, 2017 – Providing Hope In The Hospital

Thank you so much to the team at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights for your commitment to ensuring that no one battles cancer alone! CanCare works directly with hospitals and treatment centers in Houston through our unique hospital visitation program? Trained volunteers are available to medical partners and families to talk to patients who have questions, concerns or who find hope in meeting someone who has been there and overcome cancer. Through this program, cancer patients and caregivers don’t have to go out searching for hope, amazing volunteers like Clara are able to reach them first. For more information visit our Hospital Visitation Program page.

November 8, 2017 – From Daughter to Caregiver by Maya Ayyat

It’s hard to believe that as I write this personal story my mom, Corazon Mendoza, is on the other side of advanced-stage ovarian cancer. She officially got the remission stamp last month. I am respectfully aware that many survivors and caregivers may not experience the opportunity to use that word. In my mom’s case, she had a lot of cards stacked against her. The case worker at the hospital was adamant that I understood how sick my mom was. They suggested that we consider hospice versus conventional care, while another nurse was pulling me aside into a medical supply room to tell me to “prepare for the worst.” On top of that, we later found out that my mom’s own oncologist was scrutinized by his own peers because he went forward with treating a seemingly hopeless stage-four patient.

Throughout my mom’s survival and our care giving, we never took no as an answer. Not from Medicare, hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses or administrators. My mom was judged about upholding her will-to-live and as caregivers we matched her attitude by practicing defiant hope, vigilante faith, endless support, relentless sacrifice right beside her. We can’t fail to mention Mom’s oncology team, who deserve absolute accolades and respect. As newbie caregivers we didn’t always do the right thing, but we did right by my mom. A good caregiver-rule to stand by—to give a voice first and foremost to the survivor, really witness and hear your loved one. They may be fighting for his or her life.

As a client of CanCare and as a caregiver, I felt witnessed and heard. *Victoria, my mentor, was actually an ovarian cancer survivor. CanCare ensures cancer patients are matched up with survivors and caregivers are matched with caregivers. I am grateful to this day, for Victoria and for CanCare’s creativity in pairing up a volunteer survivor with a caregiver client. What I received from Victoria was something very special. Apart from feeling witnessed, it was as if I were blanketed with an energy that was objective, yet compassionate; strong yet gentle.

Inspired, I suggested CanCare to my parents, but at that time they preferred to refrain from seeking a volunteer. While I honored their choices in this journey, I knew that I needed to reach out to someone who would understand my raw and vulnerable moments, specifically someone who could relate to me. It was a critical source of comfort and perspective for me to find someone who battled through the rigorous process of cancer. While a CanCare mentor’s job is not one of a therapist, Victoria’s validation and witness of my process; along with her willingness to meet me for coffee was therapeutic and healing for me. One particular act of kindness I appreciated was the handwritten cards she would send me through regular mail. These cards offered encouragement and were personally signed by her, in gorgeous calligraphy. Through all her interactions with me, even when I was operating on very limited capacity, I could feel that Victoria was reminding me that I was doing a good job as a caregiver. She reinforced that I “was enough;” which, as a caregiver, can greatly help in remembering that you are not alone.

From Mom’s diagnosis on January 22nd, 2016 to her official remission declaration on April 26th 2017, our family has countless memories, both deeply positive and negative. A few of the awakening instants were being in the same room with Mom and Dad during her diagnosis, the endless tears I cried both in public and private, and the continuous struggle with insurance/hospital personnel for my mom to get the best surgeon. Through the dark times, we were also met with the moments of comic relief. I recall when Mom’s opined pain medications gave her extra courage and delirium during her chemotherapy treatments, the sobering moment when Mom asked me to take notes on her preferred funeral arrangements, and the diverse cancer advice we received from others. While I have numerous stories to my care giving process, the one constant I appreciated was CanCare; along with the people who truly loved and witnessed Mom, Dad and our voyage.

There is a familiar term spoken at the end of many yoga classes: Namaste. There are many translations for this Sanskrit expression of respect, my favorite being: the light in me is the same as the light in you. I’ve recently learned about another term which conveys more bowing-in-reverence to the receiver of the salutation: Namaskar. If I were to speak to you as a caregiver, I would say to you and your choice to embrace a survivor as a deep act of Namaskar.  Embrace bowing to yourself as someone who gives care, embrace bowing to your loved one who takes on the journey of survivor ship, and embrace bowing to the mystery connecting us all on this passage.

If you’re a caregiver reading this, please know that from the bottom of my heart I also bow with deep respect to your process. If you’re a care-receiver and survivor reading this, I bow equally to your process. Know that you are not alone in your respective paths. While there are numerous cancer initiatives out there, the unique beauty of CanCare is their ability to see you and meet you exactly where you are. You don’t have to be the best caregiver or survivor. You don’t have to have all the answers or know endless medical jargon. You don’t need to put on a happy face when all you want to do is hang up on the umpteenth insurance call or scream when treatment makes your hair fall out. To embrace what CanCare has to offer, I suggest having a willingness to ask for help, a willingness to look for answers, a willingness to receive or give care, a willingness to be seen heard and witnessed. Whether caregiver, survivor, or curious reader, I encourage you to reach out to CanCare and discuss matching up with a volunteer … I hope you find resilience, healing, love and hope throughout your own unique journey.

Final Words from Maya Ayyat

Written with deepest gratitude to: Our our amazing Family and Friends–Dad, what a rock you are to Mom; to Dr. Luis Camacho, who was willing to ‘go against the grain’ and walk with Mom in Hope; to the staff at East Houston Regional Medical Center–you are angels; to Dr. Geri-Lynn Fromm and staff … Dr. Fromm we are stunned and blessed to have you take fierce care of Mom; to Dr. Claire Ozaki–thank you for being a part of Mom’s healing; to the staff at St. Luke’s Hospital–thank you for making Mom’s post-op comfortable; to the staff and medical director(s) with Cigna Health spring–thank you for escalating and responding to Mom’s needs; to our amazing neighbors at Heritage Creek Village–your unconditional love and support are unwavering; to CanCare and my volunteer Victoria … thank you for holding space for me and lighting the way; and to the Ultimate Light that guided us all.

And to my Mom, who showed me, through cancer, what it means to Fight gracefully, Love fully and Believe wholeheartedly–even through the Fear. I am so proud of your journey and I am so proud of you. Team Cora, always and forever!

November 3, 2017 – 2017 Annual Interfaith Clergy Luncheon

Thank you to those that attended our 2017 Annual Interfaith Clergy Luncheon, generously hosted by Congregation Beth Israel. This annual event is an opportunity for CanCare to recognize and thank those congregations which have been so supportive of our mission. Every year, we continue to be amazed by the incredible support and dedication we receive from our wonderful congregation partners, and we are extremely grateful.

Special thank you to:

  • Emcee, Michael Wisenthal, CanCare Volunteer
  • Invocation, Rabbi Adrienne P. Scott, Congregation Beth Israel
  • Special Music, Cantor Star Trompeter, Congregational Beth Israel, Kay Wasden & Kim Knudsen
  • Volunteer Testimonial, John Butler, Author of Envying Job
  • Special Guest Speaker, Senior Pastor Patrick Miller, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
  • Benediction, Dr. Alf Halvorson, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church
  • Catering, Marsha Gilbert, Congregation Beth Israel
  • Congregation Relations Committee, Barbara Selzer, Carol Greene, Debbie Mikan, Garry Schoonover, Larry Latimer, Leah Katz, Robert Hill, Pam, Shepard and Warren Bright

If you weren’t able to make it this year, we are excited to announce that our 2018 Annual Interfaith Clergy Luncheon will be held on November 7, 2018, so mark your calendars!

October 31, 2017 – Tribute to CanCare Breast Cancer Survivors by Don McGill Toyota 

Thank you so much to Don McGill Toyota for creating this inspirational and powerful video in tribute to our amazing and beautiful CanCare volunteers. We are incredibly blessed to have your support!

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Don McGill Toyota wanted to pay tribute to the strong, resilient women affected by this terrible disease. We were humbled to partner with CanCare, Inc. to share these incredible women’s stories and offer encouragement to those in the trenches today. Keep fighting the good fight!


October 27, 2017 – A Night of Fun and Fashion In Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

Thank you so much to Elaine Turner for hosting a night of fun and fashion in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Thursday, October 26. 15% of proceeds sold that night benefitted CanCare, to ensure that no one battles cancer alone.

Guests dressed in their favorite pink attire and enjoyed complimentary sips & light bites, while mingling and shopping.

Four lucky winners left home with a pink patent leather breast cancer awareness clutch, and three patent leather breast cancer awareness bracelets, sponsored by a fabulous Elaine Turner raffle.

The event was generously hosted by Cynthia Bryant, Mari Trevino Glass, Jillian Goltzman and Sendy Higuero Jimenez.

Make sure to visit our ‘Events’ page and follow us on social media to stay up to date on all of our events!

October 18, 2017 – The Story of Iris Gerken, CanCare Volunteer/Breast Cancer Survivor

Thank you to Houston Chronicle for highlighting the inspirational story of our sweet volunteer and breast cancer survivor, Iris Gerken. “Her desire to “give back” became stronger after she completed her treatment. Iris wanted to be available to other women who had just received news of their diagnosis. She wanted to offer hope and be a support to them.” To read the full story click here.

October 12, 2017 

What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:

  • Limit alcohol – The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. The general recommendation — based on research on the effect of alcohol on breast cancer risk — is to limit yourself to less than 1 drink per day as even small amounts increase risk.
  • Don’t smoke – Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
  • Control your weight – Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active – Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
  • Breast-feed – Breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy – Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You might be able to manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies and medications. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have your doctor monitor the length of time you are taking hormones.
  • Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution – Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and radiation exposure. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary.

Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer?

Eating a healthy diet might decrease your risk of some types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. For example, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses on mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, like olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.

Maintaining a healthy weight also is a key factor in breast cancer prevention.

Is there a link between birth control pills and breast cancer?

A number of older studies suggested that birth control pills — which often had higher estrogen doses prior to 1985 — slightly increased the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. In these studies, however, 10 years after discontinuing birth control pills women’s risk of breast cancer returned to the same level as that of women who never used oral contraceptives. Current evidence does not support an increase in breast cancer with today’s birth control pills.

What else can I do?

Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676?pg=2

October 5, 2017 – The Story of Lauren, CanCare Volunteer/Amazing Mom/Breast Cancer Survivor

Lauren first came to CanCare as a caregiver to her younger sister who was diagnosed with cancer. Lauren says, “CanCare was instrumental in helping me discover how to walk side-by-side with my sister through her health event.” In May 2006, Lauren joined Class #38 and began providing clients with support and encouragement. She also began volunteering at CanCare’s special events, like the Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon and Annual Golf Tournament. “Every day is different. It is a joy to give back and I find it helps me grow, too, in the process,” expresses Lauren.

Little did Lauren know, she would also hear those three words her sister heard almost a decade earlier.

Lauren shares, “In October 2014, I was diagnosed with an aggressive stage III breast cancer. The verse I claimed through my cancer experience was, ‘I will live and not die to declare the works of the Lord’ (Psalms 118:17). Praise Him! Today I am alive and healthy! As someone who has been given a second chance at life, I appreciate life more and have a new found passion and feel an obligation to share what I have learned through my experience.”

Lauren describes, “On week two of my volunteer shift at CanCare, I answered the phone at the receptionist’s desk and on the other end was a lady who called to learn more about CanCare. She was hurting. As we talked, I listened and learned we were close in age, shared a similar diagnosis and experienced a similar treatment plan. It felt like it was a divine appointment.”

Lauren continues, “Since that first call, she and I have texted and talked by phone. Recently, we met in person for the first time for coffee. We discovered that we share our faith, our love for pets, and even have a few friends in common. As an added benefit, I’ve found that through encouraging my new friend and listening to her through the tough spots, I am strengthened too! Volunteering for CanCare reminds me how far I have come on my journey back to life after cancer. It stirs up my gratitude and gives me great joy. God is good!

September 28, 2017 

Did you know that 50% of your daily food intake should be consisted of fruits and vegetables? Yet, what kind of fruits and vegetables? Thanks to our friends at MD Anderson and “Anticancer: A New Way of Life” by David Servan-Schreiber, we’ve compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that can help to prevent cancer.

  • Cruciform Vegetables – Prevents precancerous cells from developing into malignant tumors and promotes the suicide of cancer cells
    • Cabbage
    • Brussel sprouts
    • Bok choy
    • BroccoliCauliflower
    • Avoid boiling cabbage and broccoli because it destroys benefits
  • Vegetables and Fruits Rich in Carotenoids – Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
    • Carrots
    • Yams
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Squash
    • Pumpkins
    • Tomatoes
    • Persimmons
    • Apricots
    • Tomatoes
    • Beets
    • Spinach
  • Berries – Slows tumor growth and blocks the transformation of environmental carcinogens into toxic substances
    • Blackberries
    • Raspberries
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • *** Ellagic acid also detoxifies cells.  It blocks the transformation of environmental carcinogens into toxic substances and stimulates the elimination of toxins. The toxins we are referring to here are dangerous because they interact with DNA and provoke potentially life-threatening genetic mutations. Hence, ellagic acid is a kind of super molecule that acts on several fronts.
  • Stone Fruit – Blocks the transformation of environment carcinogens into toxic substances
    • Plums
    • Peaches
    • Apricots
    • Nectarines
    • *** These fruits, particularly plums, are at least as rich in anticancer elements as small berries
  • Citrus Fruit – Anti-inflammatory
    • Oranges
    • Tangerines
    • Lemons
    • Grapefruits
    • Organic skins can be steeped in tea or hot water

Don’t forget to visit our blog every week for new posts!

September 20, 2017 – Financial Resource Available for Leukemia & Lymphoma Patients Who Were Affected by Harvey or Irma

As we continue to rebuild our communities after Harvey and Irma, along with the properties that remain under construction are hospitals, doctors’ offices, treatment facilities and medical centers. Therefore, many cancer patients have had their treatments, surgeries and follow up appointments postponed. During this time, it’s important to not lose sight of the many cancer patients and families that have been evacuated from their homes and are not able to reach their physician or treatment center, or have lost their medications due to flooding.

Thank you to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for providing eligible blood cancer patients who live in declared disaster areas with a one-time payment of $500. Patients must be in active treatment, scheduled to begin treatment or are being monitored by their doctor.

If you are battling blood cancer, and were affected by Harvey or Irma, please use the link below for more information or to apply.

http://www.lls.org/hurricane-relief-program?utm_source=Silverpop&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=BCAM&utm_content=BCAM-Donate-Engaged-LLS&spMailingID=30653452&spUserID=MTA1NzIwNTM0Mzg2S0&spJobID=1122218524&spReportId=MTEyMjIxODUyNAS2

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Today, nearly 1.3 million people in the United States are living with, or are in remission from, Leukemia, Lymphoma or Melanoma.

For more information visit: http://www.lls.org/blood-cancer-awareness-month?utm_source=Silverpop&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=BCAM&utm_content=BCAM-Lymphoma-Engaged-LLS&spMailingID=30611762&spUserID=MTA1NzIwNTM0Mzg2S0&spJobID=1121750895&spReportId=MTEyMTc1MDg5NQS2

September 18, 2017 – Hope in the Hospital by Teresa

Working as a volunteer in my local hospital has been a life changing experience.  I started my journey at North Cypress thinking that offering my “help” to cancer patients would be my way of giving back to the community and serve others that are just beginning their journey; however, I had no idea the blessings the Lord would put in front of me while I shared my story and reached out to give them hope.

This is not a story of how I helped cancer patients; this is a story of how they helped me!!

Having the honor and privilege to freely help cancer patients in the hospital environment has made a difference in how I look at life.  I have entered rooms of patients with no hope after a diagnosis and had the opportunity to tell and show them there is always hope.  I have seen their eyes light up after explaining to them I am a 10-year survivor after the chemo, radiation and surgeries.  That hope and glimmer in their eyes is what makes it all worthwhile. 

Along this journey I have cried with loved ones, laughed with families and held hands with strangers that seemed as though they were lifelong friends.  I have had the privilege of hearing one cancer patient sing like it was Heaven opening its doors!  Fishing stories, war stories and even stories from families and their love for each other.  This is not just an opportunity for me to help others; it is an amazing ride into the lives and hearts of other people that has made a lifelong difference to me.

There have been numerous occasions when I have walked away feeling that the Lord has filled my love bank and shown me what life is all about.  It is so simple, you give and you receive 10 times more back in return!  I know and understand that is a “cliché”; but, when you learn the value of human life as you share your story, it is priceless!!

September 12, 2017 – Financial Resources Available For Those Affected By Harvey

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming for all individuals affected – between deciding on treatment, dealing with fear and emotional concerns, and figuring out finances. It is a time in life that no one should have to face alone.

For those individuals that are dealing with a cancer diagnosis along with the tragic aftermath of Harvey, please remember that you are not alone.

Below are some helpful financial resources to help you on your road to recovery.

Disaster SNAP

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers short-term food assistance benefits to families recovering from a disaster. D-SNAP is designed to help when people return to their homes and have access to electricity and grocery stores. Benefits are loaded on a Lone Star Card within three days of applying, and the amount is equal to two months of the maximum amount of SNAP benefits, based on household size.

There is a limited period of time to apply for D-SNAP, based on your county of residence.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be from a county that has been declared a federal disaster area*.
  • Have experienced a loss of income, destruction of your home or a disaster-related expense, such as temporary shelter or home repairs.
  • Not have been getting regular SNAP food benefits at the time of the disaster.
  • Meet certain income limits. Click here to view income limits.

*Federal disaster counties are:

Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton

Applying for D-SNAP

You must apply in person at a designated D-SNAP location in your county of residence. You will not be able to apply online. D-SNAP applications will be accepted for a limited amount of time in each county.

To apply you’ll need to show:

  • Proof of identity – Examples include a driver’s license or other government-issued ID

If you enroll in D-SNAP and you are pregnant or have a child younger than five, you are also eligible for WIC. This allows you to get health foods such as fruit and vegetables, cereal, bread and milk, as well as breastfeeding assistance, infant formula and help from nutritionists and other sources. Visit TexasWIC.org(link is external) or call 800-942-3678 for more information.

D-SNAP locations

You must apply for D-SNAP in your county of residence. Residents of the following counties may only apply for D-SNAP between Sept. 13 and Sept. 19: Dewitt, Gonzalez, Jasper, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Matagorda, Newton, Orange, Sabine and Tyler. You will need to apply on certain days depending on the first letter of your last name. Offices will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information visit:  https://hhs.texas.gov/services/financial/disaster-assistance/disaster-snap

American Red Cross Disaster Financial Assistance 

The American Red Cross is providing some financial assistance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

With the Immediate Assistance Program, people who were directly affected by the storm can receive $400.

Please note that assistance will be available for those significantly affected by Hurricane Harvey which includes:

  • Primary residence was severely impacted by Harvey.
  • Household is in need of emergency assistance.
  • Household was displaced by the impact of Harvey.

Verifiable pre-disaster primary address in one of these 39 Texas counties Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton.

The American Red Cross is currently experiencing a high demand, and is asking for individuals to check their website at a later time. The program is open through October 10.

https://www.disasterverification.com/redcross/

September 11, 2017 – FEMA/State of Texas Open Three Disaster Recovery Centers in Houston

Three State of Texas/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will open Monday, September 11, 2017, in the cities of Katy, Baytown and Houston.

Disaster recovery centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in 39 counties included in the Texas federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent floods.

Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the State and other agencies will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application. The new centers are at the following locations:

Katy Mills Mall (Fort Bend County)
5000 Katy Mills Circle
Katy TX  77494
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Baytown Community Center (Harris County)
2407 Market Street
Baytown TX  77520
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Greenspoint Mall (Harris County)
263 Greenspoint Mall
Houston TX  77060
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster assistance employees are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible. SBA representatives are available to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program and help business owners and residents apply to SBA.

Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible to people with disabilities. Centers have assistive technology equipment allowing disaster survivors to use amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss, and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available and in-person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms.

If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Eligible residents may register for assistance the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
  • Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: fema.gov/mobile-app.

The following information is helpful when registering:

  • Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).
  • Current mailing address.
  • Current telephone number.
  • Insurance information.
  • Total household annual income.
  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).
  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.

Disaster survivors can visit any of the centers for assistance. Locations of other recovery centers are online at www.fema.gov/DRC.

Homeowners, renters and businesses in Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Jacinto, Refugio, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Waller, Walker and Wharton may be eligible for help.

Thank you, ALERT HOUSTON, for this helpful information. CanCare community, please remember, if you have been affected by Harvey, please contact us at 713.461.0028. We are currently in the process of assessing what needs our community has, and are ready to help you.

September 6, 2017 – Harvey Crisis Response Guide

Thanks to our friends at Insperity for sending us this helpful ‘Harvey Crisis Response Guide’.  This guide contains information to help anyone who has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  It was prepared by Baker Botts and covers a broad variety of topics, such as how to file flood claims, renters’ rights, how to replace your passport and/or credit cards that may have been lost or damaged in the storm, information about schools and about small business administration loans, and tips to avoid home repair fraud. It also contains a broad list of other resources and includes contact information for them. Click the link below to view guide.

Harvey Crisis Response Guide

CanCare community, if you have been affected by Harvey, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 713.461.0028.

September 1, 2017 – A message from our President/CEO

To our CanCare community:

On behalf of CanCare, I want to offer my greatest concern and deepest compassion to all the individuals affected by the devastating storm along the Texas coastline, and Houston region.

Like many of our Houstonians today, I too, have personally experienced the loss and uncertainty that a storm of this magnitude can bring. I have faced the devastation of waking up at 2 a.m. with close to four feet of water in my home, rounding up my family to safely evacuate, and leaving all our personal belongings and decades of memories behind.

One thing that I learned throughout that experience was, I was not alone, and neither are you.

With my 14 years of experience at the American Red Cross along with our dedicated CanCare staff members, we are here to help connect you with the assistance you may need during this trying time.

Although our office will be closed until September 5th, we are available to assist those in need now. If you have been affected by Harvey, we want to hear from you.

Replacing fear with hope has been the mission of CanCare for 27 years. When you choose CanCare, you choose hope that comes from survivors sharing their own cancer experiences. It is our utmost commitment to ensure that no one battles cancer alone, and as we begin to rebuild our great city of Houston and the surrounding communities, we want you to know that you are not alone on this journey either.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about your road to recovery. I am here for you.

Stay strong, Houston. We are with you, always.

Warm regards,
Cristina Vetrano