To All of Our Supporters, Listed below is an update of some families we have been helping since our last report in June.
In April, we received a referral from Hershey for Maya, a young girl who had just celebrated her sweet sixteenth birthday in the hospital after being diagnosed with AML in January. Maya’s treatment has been extensive and truly a family experience since her older brother served as the donor for her bone marrow transplant. Thankfully, the transplant was a success but, as usual, many lingering health issues persisted. The Foundation has been helping the family with mortgage payments while Maya receives treatment.
Alexis was initially diagnosed in January 2017 with Wilm’s tumor and achieved remission at the completion of her initial treatment. Sadly, in April of 2018 she presented to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was diagnosed with a relapse. She’s had a kidney removed and has tumors in her liver. Her treatment will be ongoing. Although dad is still able to work most days, mom has had to take lots of time away from her part time job to care for Alexis and her two siblings. The Foundation paid several mortgage payments and provided the family with gift cards for Wal-Mart to purchase groceries and clothing for the kids.
The Foundation depends, heavily, on the social workers with whom we work at Penn State Hershey Medical center and CHOP for all sorts of input. Occasionally, we have to rely on the social workers, and the resources they can employ, to be our only contact with a family we wish to assist. Such was the situation with three year old Jenly because her parents do not speak English. Jenly suffers from bilateral retinoblastoma, cancer in her eyes, and has not responded to conventional treatment and has experienced many side effects of the alternative treatment required. Frequent trips to the hospital for treatment have caused the family to experience serious financial difficulties. For this family, covering 6 months’ rent was a concrete way the Foundation could assist.
The most frequent requests for assistance for our recipient families are the ones you’d expect; rent, mortgage, utility bills or other household expenses. Elizer’s family needed help that was a little out of the ordinary. Elizer is a four year old boy who also suffers from bilateral retinoblastoma. His cancer was successfully treated, then returned and resisted traditional methods of treatment. His doctors were able to find a regime that worked for him but during this arduous process of many treatments and doctor appointments and lost wages, his family was notified by their electric supplier there was a problem. The meter base for the electric service for their home needed to be replaced, at their cost, on short order, or their service would be terminated! The family’s social worker researched reputable contractors in their area who would do the work in the time frame specified and the Foundation covered the cost.
The Foundation was contacted about Whitney in April, 2017 when she was three years old and had been diagnosed with ALL. Her treatment regime was expected to last approximately 2.5 years. At the time of the initial referral, the family was managing to cope without financial assistance from us. About a year later, though, assistance was requested for this family. More than a year of treatments and hospital and doctor visits take their toll on any family. The Foundation has helped with an auto loan payment and mortgage assistance.
As the number of families we assist grows each year, we’re finding it more and more invaluable to have the assistance of the dedicated social workers who work with us. These professionals have information and insight that we need to help the families in our area. They also help to ensure that the people who need help the most can get it. As long as we have the continued generous support of people like you, we can continue to expand the mission that is so important to all of us.
We sincerely thank you,
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation