To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in April.
Four year old Abby has Down’s syndrome and lives at home with her parents and three older siblings. In December, 2018 she was diagnosed with leukemia at Penn State Hershey. Prior to her diagnosis, she was able to go to daycare while her parents worked. Because her treatment has a major impact on her immune system, it’s no longer safe for her to be in a daycare setting. Abby’s parents were fortunate to find a skilled caregiver to stay at home with Abby while she’s under treatment so they can remain employed. The Foundation has made mortgage payments for the family to free up funds to cover the cost of Abby’s new caregiver.
When thirteen year old Brayden was admitted for his first surgery after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, his mother lost her job. Because she’s a single mom with two children, the loss of her income was disastrous. While mom was trying to deal with applying for unemployment compensation and social security benefits for her son, the Foundation was able to help alleviate some of her financial stress. We paid several months of rent and auto loan payments and provided gift cards for much needed groceries and household expenses.
Normally, our referrals for families in need come from the social workers at the health care centers in our area. Sometimes, though, we are approached by a parent. Such was the case with sixteen year old Anthony who had been diagnosed a brain tumor. While the family resides in Berks County, his parents decided to seek treatment for their son at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. We contacted his social worker at Sloan Kettering to confirm his diagnosis and financial need. The Foundation helped to defray some of the cost of temporary housing necessary while Anthony received six weeks of daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments in New York.
Emily should have been enjoying her freshman year in high school instead of travelling with her parents on the train to CHOP each day for daily chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat her Hodgkin’s lymphoma. While her treatments were ongoing, Emily’s parents were so focused on getting the best treatment for their daughter; financial issues took a back seat, as they often do. We were contacted by Emily’s social worker when the mortgage was a few months past due. The Foundation made several mortgage payments so the family could get back on track and not worry about losing their home.
Eight year old Marissa was diagnosed with neuroblastoma late in 2018. Her treatment is anticipated to last at least a year. Like a lot of the patients to whom we are introduced, Marissa will have treatment at Penn State Hershey and CHOP. Her parents are divorced and share custody but mom has had to take a lot of unpaid time off to care for her daughter. The Foundation had made rent payments and covered utility bills to help alleviate some of the financial stress that has accrued.
As you can see in the above paragraphs, the stories of the families we serve vary in diagnosis, treatment, location and financial issues. The common thread is the need for the parents to focus on the important task of caring for their sick child. With the help of generous folks like you, we are able to eliminate some of the stress they experience. Thank you, on behalf of the families we are privileged to assist, for your continued support!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation