To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in August.
When 11 year old Eva was admitted to the hospital for pain in her right knee, neither she nor her family expected a diagnosis of pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Eva remained in the hospital for about a month while she began chemotherapy. Her treatment is estimated to take about two years, which includes routine inpatient stays and outpatient appointments for chemotherapy. Eva lives at home with her mother, her mother’s partner and three brothers. Because mom had to stop working to care for her daughter, the loss of income and mounting medical bills caused a financial hardship. The Foundation covered several months’ rent for the family.
Troy was able to attend his high school graduation but his plans to begin college on a scholarship were put on hold by a diagnosis of renal medullary carcinoma. He began treatment locally but his team of doctors felt his best course of action was to travel to MD Anderson in Houston, Texas to participate in a clinical trial. The trial is scheduled to last approximately six months so Troy and his parents will stay in Texas for the duration since it is too costly to travel. This family consists of two parents, Troy and his three siblings and three foster siblings. Both parents have been unable to work during this time. With financial pressures mounting, the Foundation was asked to pay several months of rent at their primary residence to free up funds for their stay in Texas.
Because we need to responsibly allocate the funds donated by our supporters, we are extremely diligent about determining the “need” of a family for assistance. We depend heavily on the social workers with whom we work to let us know when a need is genuine. We first learned about Abigail, an eight year old with Stage III Wilm’s tumor, early in 2019 from a friend of the Foundation. A review with the family’s social worker determined there was no need for our assistance at that time. The social worker contacted us nearly six months later for assistance when our help was needed. The Foundation has made rental payments for the family of five to help with finances during Abigail’s treatment.
Ten year old Marcoantonio was initially diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April 2015. He received treatment for more than two years before remission was achieved. Unfortunately he relapsed late in 2017 and underwent additional intensive chemotherapy and CAR T-cell therapy but was found to have relapsed again in December 2018. His team determined the best curative option was more intensive chemotherapy to get Marcoantonio to a bone marrow transplant. The transplant has been performed. Post-transplant, patients are severely immunocompromised and medically fragile. For the first few months after hospital discharge, patients are isolated and are only permitted to be in their home or the hospital. Lost wages are an inevitable result of such prolonged care for a child in this sort of battle. The Foundation has paid several months’ rent and continues to follow the family in case further assistance is needed.
The previous paragraph about Abigail told the story of a family who didn’t need our assistance until several months into treatment. Carson’s story is quite different. Again, we were notified about possible need by a friend of the Foundation. Within a day of his diagnosis, we had made contact with the social worker and his mom and had set up a plan for assistance. Carson is an 18 month old little boy with Down syndrome who is being treated for acute leukemia. He’ll likely need several rounds of chemotherapy and eventually a bone marrow transplant. Some of his treatment will be inpatient. Carson’s single mom needs some financial support during this frightening treatment for her son since the time she’s able to work will be severely curtailed. We hear, though, the little boy is doing well and still “always has a smile on his face.” The Foundation is assisting with an auto loan and rental payments through the end of 2019.
Whether you participate in one of our fundraising events, send us a check or a PayPal contribution through our website or plan to participate in this year’s ExtraGive on November 22, we appreciate every dollar of support. Because of your generosity, the Foundation was able to cover rental payments or mortgages for nine families in September! Of course, the usual auto loan payments, utility bills and other household expenses were covered, too. Without your continued support, none of this would be possible. Thank you!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation