SAN ANTONIO – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one San Antonio nonprofit organization offers free services to women currently fighting cancer.
SLEW Cancer Wellness Center is a San Antonio nonprofit agency helping uninsured and under-insured women fighting cancer.
SLEW, which stands for Support Lending for Emotional Wellbeing, is the only agency of its kind in Bexar County and surrounding areas. They service over 700 clients and provide over 10,000 services per year at no cost.
Client Linda Perez has been coming to SLEW for 13 years.
“Once you walk in through that door, everything is free to you; you don’t pay anything,” Perez said.
SLEW offers medical massages, lymphatic drainage therapy, patient navigation, case management, transportation, bras, prosthesis, wigs, food pantry and clothing boutique.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Antonio Food Bank would hold live cooking events at SLEW and teach different ways to cook healthy meals.
SLEW is located at 12521 Nacogdoches Rd., and the commute for some clients is quite the drive.
“I live way on the south side, so this is not close to me, but its, worth my while to come here,” Perez said. “Everything is given to me; I don’t have to pay a thing.”
After being diagnosed with cancer then depression, Perez was referred to SLEW by her oncologist.
“My doctor said ‘I’m gonna refer you to Olga Young in Slew Wellness Program, and they have counselors that can help you deal with your ordeal,’” Perez said. “They provide medical massages; they have bras, they have wigs, they’ve got everything you need.”
Kathy Belmonte is the patient navigator for SLEW, and she said they assist clients from the time they are diagnosed to the end of their primary treatment.
“I navigate patients from the time they are diagnosed with cancer until they complete their primary treatment, which would be either surgery, chemo or radiation,” Belmonte said.
As a Certified Mastectomy Fitter, Crystal Briones assists the clients with any bras, prostheses and wigs they may need.
“I offer them any kind of mastectomy bras they need,” Briones said. “I fit them for the prosthesis also wigs, scarfs, I help them in that area too, and everything is free.”
SLEW Cancer Wellness Center is a nonprofit organization and is income-based. They can prequalify you in person or over the phone.
Director Olga Young founded the agency after being diagnosed with cancer herself and witnessing the need for services for women who were uninsured or underinsured and could not afford treatments that her insurance covered.
If you would like more information about SLEW, please visit their website at slewwellness.org, or call (210) 654-7900.
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