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SAN ANTONIO – A local group that helps people get their hands on expensive medical equipment just got a big boost from the Texas Veterans Commission.
Project MEND received a $250,000 grant that will help the nonprofit continue to serve veterans all over South Texas.
“Well, I was in the military 20 years,” says Air Force veteran Larry Deen.
He recalls the life-changing diagnosis he received back in December.
“The doctor at SAMMC told me I had cancer,” Deen says. “And I couldn’t believe it.”
After surgery, he needed to stay off his feet.
“When I got out of the hospital I needed some way to transfer to get in the shower,” Deen says.
He went to Project MEND for a shower chair. The group helps anyone get the medical equipment they need.
“Oh man, it saved me about $200 or $300,” Deen says.
From crutches to wheelchairs and even hospital beds – whether you’re a veteran or civilian, all you need is a doctor’s prescription for the equipment and $20 for an application fee.
“We’re available to help them immediately,” the group’s executive director Cathy Valdez says.
She says the grant money will help her team track down items veterans need that aren’t always in the warehouse.
“Maybe refurbished hearing aids or walkers or standers of certain kinds that are specialized to their needs,” Valdez says. “We’ve got the financial means now to be able to help our veterans and their family members to purchase that on their behalf.”
The equipment in Project MEND’s inventory is donated. Every piece is refurbished and sanitized.
“They’re always looking out for the veterans,” Deen says.
He’s now in remission, and urges veterans in need to come to Project MEND.
“Doesn’t matter what you need,” Deen says. “They will find it if they don’t have it.”
If you need medical equipment or have a piece to donate, just give Project MEND a call at (210) 223-6363.
By EMILY BAUCUM