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Wednesday, 11 July 2018 22:23

After the Donation: CA Veteran’s Benevolence Car Helps Her in Time of Need

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Veteran TeJae Dunnivant and her son received a 2014 VW Jetta from CSAA Insurance. CSAA Insurance Group's Community Affairs Coordinator Victor Cordon stands with the Dunnivants at Mike's Auto Body. Veteran TeJae Dunnivant and her son received a 2014 VW Jetta from CSAA Insurance. CSAA Insurance Group's Community Affairs Coordinator Victor Cordon stands with the Dunnivants at Mike's Auto Body.

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It was a stressful time, and the vehicle helped TeJae get through this anxious and uncertain time, she said. 


"The car was key for many reasons, and it made our lives a little easier,” she said. “We were going through a very tough period, but at least I didn't have to worry about transportation. When things get like that, stuff can really pile up, but at least we didn't have any anxiety about not having transportation."


After Asad's treatments, getting food for him to eat was essential. That's where the vehicle was even more vital. 


"Asad lost his hair and the treatment killed his taste buds, so I had to go to the grocery store to get food that he could eat," TeJae said. "He had to eat only processed food because fresh fruit and vegetables can contain bacteria. So I was constantly going to Trader Joe's to buy things such as Indian frozen food that he would like and that he could eat. His diet was very limited, but by getting the right food, he was able to eat and keep his strength up." 


Amazingly, during this very stressful time, TeJae was able to stay in school at UC Berkeley and pursue her degree in media studies. 


"A lot of people were telling me that it's crazy for me to stay in school while my child was undergoing cancer treatment," she said. "But with the Jetta, I could go from the hospital to school and not drop out, which was a big deal for me. This summer, I will be completing my last two classes and earn my degree. In the spring, I walked through my graduation, so I am so excited about the next chapter in my life."


Coincidentally, TeJae worked on a fellowship team at UC Berkeley developing an augmented reality product that is designed to mitigate anxiety in children undergoing cancer treatment. 


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