Home / About Us
Manuel Obaya and Hope Zuniga
Manuel Obaya and Hope Zuniga were beginning to find financial stability. They were living in a beautiful home; Manuel had just started a promising career working in the oil fields near their home town of Refugio, Texas.
Manuel Obaya and Hope Zuniga were beginning to find financial stability. They were living in a beautiful home; Manuel had just started a promising career working in the oil fields near their home town of Refugio, Texas. Ms. Zuniga had just given birth to the couples 3rd child and everything seemed to be going as planned. That is until Mr. Obaya felt a lump. “I thought that it was a hernia, but it didn’t hurt.” Mr. Obaya decided to continue to work (having no health insurance). Every night he checked the lump, which seemed to grow more and more each day. Finally, at the insistence of his wife, he decided to get himself checked out. “His lump had become as large as a fist; I knew it wasn’t a hernia.”
Manuel checked into the local hospital and received necessary and lifesaving tests. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The doctors suggested that he immediately move to San Antonio to receive treatment. Heading the doctor’s advance, the family left their home (which they would later lose) and family behind and moved to San Antonio. Manuel checked into a local hospital while his family moved in with a family member, “We thought that he would receive treatment right away, but we were told treatment would have to wait until he was approved for Medicaid.” This delayed the treatment for a full month until July 2011.
During that time, Ms. Zuniga was referred to Hispanic Religious Partnerships’ Diaper Bank to aide their family with diapers. Ms. Zuniga would attend Parenting Education classes taught by a Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Wesley Nurses at Westlawn United Methodist Church. Each time she attended she would receive a package of diapers. “It was truly a blessing to have that service because diapers are so expensive.” Although they were already parents, the family received valuable parenting tips, like what it means when a baby cries, how to properly bathe a child, nutrition and many more. This information they were receiving not only helped them with their 6 month old child, but their 4 and 5 year old children as well, “It's helped us get new perspectives on how to raise our children, how to do it properly.” In the meantime, Manuel received chemo and eventually had the tumor removed.
Today, his health is slowly recovering and he is now attempting to find work. Ms. Zuniga is still attending the Parenting Education classes to receive diapers and baby items through HRPCH’s sponsored baby boutique. However, their battle is still waging. They are still living with family while waiting for their housing application to be approved. With no income Manuel has filed for disability and at the time of this interview had been denied (the application is being reviewed). The family is now preparing to begin the 2nd part of the Parenting Education classes, where they will begin learning the proper steps on how to potty train their child. HRPCH continues to lend a helping hand and is attempting to gain them more assistance in their desperate time of need. Their road to self-sufficiency will be a long one, but thanks to HRPCH they are able to have some peace in their lives. “This (program) has truly been a blessing.”