To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in June.
Twenty one year old Dylan was diagnosed with a tumor in his skull known as rhabdomyosarcoma early in 2019 at Penn State Health in Hershey. Because of the location of the tumor, it was impossible to remove the entire tumor and a treatment plan of radiation and chemotherapy was designed by his team. Dylan lives with his single mother and was in a special school for autistic students prior to his diagnosis. The tumor caused the young man to lose his sight, making it all the more difficult to care for him. The Foundation has helped the family since the referral with rental payments and heating oil.
Reliable transportation to the hospital for treatment is often a real problem for families dealing with a sick child. Nine year old Janabelle, being treated for Ewing’s sarcoma since February 2018, underwent months of chemotherapy, radiation, clinic visits, scans, lab work and physical therapy. As is often the case, the treatment of her sarcoma caused other health related issues, including her ability to swallow. This level of care made it impossible for Janabelle’s mom to work and put the family under considerable financial strain. One of their biggest problems was an unreliable vehicle that needed costly repairs to get it back on the road. The Foundation assisted the family by covering the cost of repair to their vehicle and past due rent.
Eighteen year old Clarissa’s family also had a transportation problem when we were contacted by the social workers at PSH for some assistance. Clarissa was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November 2018. Her single mom was doing all she could to support her two daughters while taking unpaid FMLA to attend to all the necessary medical appointments. Fortunately, in this family’s case, a very kind auto repair establishment worked with us to get the family’s car back in operation so mom had one less worry.
Occasionally, we get a request for assistance that’s a total surprise to all of us. We’re used to making payments for rent, utilities, auto loans and repairs and various other household costs. But, this year we were approached by a social worker to help to fund a wig for a young girl who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the end of 2018. Due to the effects of all her many treatments, Jessica lost her beautiful red hair. Her twin sister generously donated her own hair in hopes that it would be made into a wig for Jessica. The social worker did a bit of research and found a firm in California who makes custom wigs for just this sort of situation. The Foundation paid for Jessica’s “custom cranial prosthesis,” as the wig is called. Hopefully, the wig helped Jessica get back to the important job of just being a teenager like her sister and all her friends.
Lucas is an almost two year old little boy who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia at the beginning of May. He’s had some lengthy hospitalizations while receiving intensive chemotherapy. All his treatment will be in the hospital with each admission lasting 4-6 weeks over the next 6 months. He’s the only child of his parents who were both working when he was diagnosed. The family had just recently purchased their first home and they were having anxiety over mortgage payments because of the loss of mom’s income. The Foundation is making mortgage payments for the family while Lucas is being treated. Dad just informed us that treatments are going well, Lucas is in remission. He’s just begun this third round of chemo before moving on to the transplant phase. The family was thrilled with their good news!
As always, the requests we get for assistance are as varied as the types of cancer these children are fighting. We thank all of you for your continued support; for your participation in our fundraisers and for your contributions. We’re finding that there is no shortage of need in our community and your partnership with us is vital to continuing our mission. Thank you!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation