To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update of some families we have been helping since our last report in April.
Friends of the Foundation first began telling us about Isaiah in the fall of 2017. We contacted the social workers at Hershey about the family but learned that dad was working extra hours and the family was being supported by community fundraisers. In January 2018, we were asked for assistance. Fifteen year old Isaiah was diagnosed in September 2017 with a brain tumor. He’s had surgeries and received treatment at Hershey, in New York City and at CHOP in Philadelphia. Since mom is not employed outside the home and dad has had to take long periods of time off work, the family of eight, including 5 adoptive brothers and sisters has faced a multitude of hardship. Isaiah continues treatment, but the last update was a positive one. The Foundation was able to support the family with mortgage and utility payments during this difficult time.
Sometimes, we are notified about an emergency bill that needs to be paid to avoid suspension of electrical service. Although both adults in eight year old Benjamin’s home were working full time prior to his diagnosis with ALL in February 2018, mom had to stop working to care for her son. Benjamin began chemotherapy in the hospital and was required to return to the outpatient clinic several times a week for treatment. It is anticipated he will require a bone marrow transplant in the future. During the intense treatment schedule, the family fell behind on their electric bill and was in danger of having their service terminated. The Foundation paid the delinquent charges and got the family up to date with the utility company.
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer for your child is devastating. Imagine learning, shortly after their birth, that your twin daughters both have retinoblastoma, malignant tumors in their eyes! Such is the case for the family of Ella and Eve who were born in December 2017. Both were diagnosed at Hershey Medical Center but were referred to Will’s Eye Center in Philadelphia for the specialized treatment they require. Eve also had other serious medical issues that caused her to be hospitalized at CHOP for several months. Ella is being treated as an outpatient at Hershey. Mom had to quit her job and has spent most of her time in Philadelphia with Eve while dad is self-employed and can work sporadically. The Foundation has helped with travel expenses for the family with Amtrak and with gas cards and has paid several months’ rent.
Umberto is a seventeen year old who was diagnosed at Hershey in February 2018 with a rare desmoplastic round cell tumor in his abdomen. He’s spent quite a bit of time admitted to the hospital and is scheduled for surgery shortly. Although both parents were working prior to his diagnosis, mom has had to take an unpaid leave to care for her son and his two siblings. Financial stressors became an issue in April when we were asked to assist with a heating oil bill, a mortgage payment and an auto loan payment to keep their only reliable vehicle on the road.
The Foundation was contacted about Destiny in April. She’s a 14 year old girl who was diagnosed with HLH, a type of childhood cancer in September 2017. Prior to her diagnosis, she had a complicated medical history since birth with diagnoses of anemia and type 1 diabetes as well as requiring ECMO immediately after birth. Destiny has been treated with chemotherapy and was due to receive a bone marrow transplant in May, which was delayed due to the development of sleep apnea. Lost wages have become an issue since mom is nearing the end of her allotted time for paid leave and significant care will be needed when the transplant can finally be scheduled and accomplished. The Foundation has made several mortgage payments and will probably be called on to supply additional assistance for the family.
As outlined above, the types of assistance the Foundation provides for the families referred to us is as varied as the types of cancer identified for each child. Your continued generosity makes it possible for the parents of these children to worry a little less about outside concerns and concentrate on the well-being of their sick child. None of this would be possible without your caring and concern!
We sincerely thank you,
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation