To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in December.
The Foundation first became aware of Sully and his family from a friend of the Foundation. When we checked with the social workers at Penn State Hershey, we found that the family could use some assistance. The six year old boy was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in early July, 2018. He thankfully achieved remission after two rounds of chemotherapy and was scheduled for two additional rounds in September and October. Sully needed to remain in the hospital during his treatments, each for a four week period. Because his mom, who is self-employed, remained in the hospital with him during each of his treatment periods, she was unable to work and was without income. The Foundation covered rental payments for the family through the end of 2018.
Like a lot of families the Foundation assists, Declan’s family of four had two working parents before his diagnosis of a brain rumor in August 2018. The sixteen year old had several surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy that left him with some weakness in his extremities and some cognitive issues. Because of the care Declan needed during his treatment, dad was no longer able to work. To help the family through this difficult period, the Foundation covered the rent through the end of 2018 and helped to clear up some other household bills.
So many of the families referred to us are proud, hardworking people who hate to ask for assistance. Such was the case of Anthony’s parents. He is a thirteen year old who was diagnosed with high risk leukemia in March 2018. Anthony began receiving extensive chemotherapy in March and, while he was able to achieve remission, his treatment plan will last for a total of three and one half years. A social worker at Hershey reached out to us in October, seven months after Anthony’s diagnosis, because both parents had to take enough unpaid time from their jobs to finally make it necessary to accept some assistance for household expenses. The Foundation paid the family’s rent through the end of 2018 and paid several other household bills.
Island was an adorable five month old infant when she was initially taken to Penn State Hershey in September 2018. She was quickly rushed to surgery for the removal of a large brain tumor. She was still in the pediatric ICU, waiting to recover from her surgery so she could begin chemotherapy when we were contacted for assistance. Mom had begun a new job several months prior to the diagnosis and was not eligible for FMLA or any paid time off but her employers were willing to work with her to give her a few weeks off, without pay. Dad had also just begun a new job several days before the diagnosis and decided to stop working to be able to spend time at the hospital so mom could work because her income was higher. The Foundation helped this family with rent, auto loan payments and numerous other household bills to get them through this difficult period in their young lives.
Twelve year old Jacob was originally diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma of his scapula in December, 2015. In April, 2018 he relapsed. Jacob resumed chemotherapy, had surgery to remove his tumor in early September and was slated to complete two more cycles of chemotherapy, post-surgery. Prior to his relapse, Jacob lived at home with his dad and three older siblings. Mom is not actively involved in the lives of her children. Dad recently started a new job and was not eligible for paid time off. The loss of the only income was creating quite a strain on the family. The Foundation paid four months’ rent and helped with utility payments.
Most of the families referred to us by the social workers at the local hospitals with whom we partner share a common thread. They are caring, hard-working folks whose lives have been turned upside down by their child’s diagnosis of cancer. The gratitude and relief they demonstrate to us when we can ease a bit of their financial concerns is something we can share with all of you. Without your steadfast support, we would not be able to help the growing number of families who are referred to us. Thank you, most sincerely, for your continued interest in the important work you help us accomplish
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation