Dennis, a sixty-two-year-old homeless U.S. Marine Corps veteran, had not been feeling well for months and knew he needed to see a doctor.
In May, he took himself to a V.A. Medical Clinic where doctors discovered a tumor.
“I was diagnosed with stage four cancer and was given four months to live. It’s November now so God’s given me grace. After my surgery in June, I was discharged to Pathways to Care for recovery where they have shown me great love and care,” said Dennis.
Pathways to Care (PTC), a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, is a medical respite care center dedicated to providing healthcare, housing, and hope to Central Florida’s vulnerable homeless veterans and non-veteran men and women in need of a safe environment to heal from serious illness or injury.
During their recovery at PTC, residents are provided with a clean bed, warm showers and nutritionally balanced meals. Nurses and medical technicians help administer medications and staff provide on-site case management, optional mental health counseling and transportation to and from medical appointments.
“The cost of providing transportation to our residents for one week is $200—a cost that is covered for the next year thanks to those who bid for the cause at our annual Soup Bowl Supper,” said Dawn Zinger, Administrator at PTC.
This year’s Soup Bowl Supper, held on Saturday, October 24, raised over $200,000 for PTC.
In November, Dennis started chemotherapy at a local cancer treatment center and has about five more months of therapy to go.
With help from case management and the V.A., Dennis will move to an affordable housing facility when he leaves PTC.