To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in October.
Three year old Abby was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in April 2019. Like a lot of patients with her diagnosis, her treatment plan will probably last for about two and a half years. She’s had several inpatient admissions to the hospital and has been undergoing weekly chemotherapy treatment as an outpatient. This sort of schedule has placed a great amount of strain on her parents, her older brother, her twin sister and her newborn brother. Significant lost wages are always an issue for a family in this sort of situation. The Foundation has covered the family’s rent since we got the referral and will continue to assist the family into 2020.
Joyce is described by her social worker as “a hilarious, sweet, strong 17 year old.” She was diagnosed in August 2016 with Ewing’s sarcoma in her lower right leg. She completed radiation and chemotherapy but was found to have relapsed in April 2018. Since that time, she has undergone more chemotherapy, an above knee amputation, another relapse, radiation and even more chemotherapy. Sadly, the numerous side effects of her treatment have caused medical issues that make it difficult for her to leave home. Joyce lives with her mother, step-father and three younger sisters. Mom must stay at home to care for her children so dad is the sole financial support for the family. Of course, more than three years of serious medical issues, and the resulting lost wages, have placed a financial strain on the family. The Foundation has covered the family’s rent since the referral was received by us in July.
There are times when a social worker recognizes an especially financially stressful period is on the horizon and we are asked to provide support to get them over the period of lost wages. Twelve year old Jamienson was diagnosed in March 2019 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His mom gave birth to his baby sister ten days after his diagnosis! Mom had to leave her job to care for her newborn and sick son. The family’s social worker asked us to pay the family’s rent for four months until Jamienson’s treatment schedule became more manageable and mom could go back to work. We were happy to provide that support.
A child’s cancer diagnosis is a devastating experience for a family, as is relapse of a condition the family thought was under control. Nine year old David presented with a relapsed Ewing’s Sarcoma. His mom had to quit her job to care for him and his younger sister and his dad is a seasonal worker with a sometimes uncertain work schedule. While the family was trying to cover their expenses with only one breadwinner, they fell behind on some bills. We were asked to pay an overdue electric bill to ensure the power was not cut to the family home.
Two year old Livy is described by her social worker as a “sweet yet wild” little girl who was diagnosed in January 2019 with b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Like a lot of the children we assist, side effects from treatment and other preexisting conditions have made her treatment a challenge with hospitalizations and procedures over and above radiation and chemotherapy. Livy’s treatment will likely span a two and a half year period and has been difficult in many ways for her parents and three older half-siblings. Dad works as much as possible on the 3rd shift to continue to support the family but mom had to turn down a new employment opportunity when their daughter was diagnosed. The Foundation has supported the family with rental payments and will continue to do so in 2020.
During this December, when our homes become a place to gather and enjoy friends and family, your generosity has helped to keep seventeen families, all fighting a fierce battle against cancer, in their homes! Where might those families be without people like you? In addition to the seventeen mortgage payments or rental checks, your donations paid utility bills and auto loan payments and other household expenses to help keep people safe in their homes this holiday season.
This year, we found ourselves asked to support families for longer periods of time, either because of longer treatment schedules or because of relapses for children we’ve supported in the past. Needless to say, we could not keep pace with this demand without the continued support you provide. Whether you participated in this year’s Lancaster Extra Ordinary Give in November or supported one of our fundraisers, your generosity helped us keep pace with the demands in our community. We thank you, in advance, for the contributions many of you will make during your end-of-year giving. On behalf of all the families we were able to assist this year, we wish you a blessed holiday and a happy and healthy new year!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation