Meet UVSC Beneficiary, Eric. He is a single father of two teenage boys and is bravely battling Stage 3 colon cancer. After his family lost their home in the devastating Lahaina fires, he and his sons relocated to Kahului, but he is unable to work due to his medical condition and frequent doctor visits. Because English is not Eric’s primary language, his sons bravely take turns accompanying him to his doctor’s appointments to act as translators – oftentimes needing to miss school to do so. As he continues to navigate his cancer journey along with the challenges of finding permanent, affordable housing and caring for his sons, UVSC hopes to ease his family’s financial burden so he can continue to focus on healing, living and enjoying time with his sons.

During the August wildfires on Maui, about 40% of the people living in Lahaina were of Filipino descent and many of those do not speak English as their primary language. This adds further difficultly and complexity to accessing fire relief and assistance services, and government benefits. UVSC is fortunate to have strong partnerships with other community organizations, like Pacific Cancer Foundation, whose skilled cancer navigators have been able to assist us with language translation and outreach to the Filipino community.