To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in April. Cookie was not quite three years old when she was diagnosed with Wilm’s tumor due to a rather bizarre set of circumstances. Several months before her diagnosis, her 7 year old brother spent six weeks in the hospital with a severe pulmonary disease. Mom lost her job when she took too much time off to be with her son at his bedside. One week after Cookie’s brother was discharged from the hospital, she, her mom and her brother were in a car accident. Thankfully, none of them were seriously injured but when they were evaluated in the ER, the doctors found a mass on Cookie’s kidney which turned out to be cancer. Due to the ongoing medical needs of two children, finances for this single mom are quite an issue. The Foundation has supported the family with rental payments.
Normally, we get referrals for family assistance from the social workers with whom we partner, although other avenues of approach to the Foundation do happen. We got a call from the mother of a child who the Foundation had assisted in the past. She read a story in the local newspaper about a family whose child was diagnosed with cancer at a mere 25 days after birth! She was so touched by the family’s story, and what she knew lay ahead for them, that she reached out to us to see if we could offer assistance. Since we knew from the newspaper report where the child was being treated, we reached out to the social workers there to offer assistance if it was deemed necessary. The Foundation has continued to cover rental expenses for the family while treatment is ongoing.
Fourteen year old Emma, diagnosed with acute leukemia, experienced unexpected hospital admissions, reactions to medications causing a change in therapy, and the emotional stress to herself and her family that always accompanies such an illness. Prior to her diagnosis, both of Emma’s parents worked full time outside the home. Wanting to support their daughter, both parents have taken significant time off work, without pay, to accompany her during treatment. Obviously, this interruption in income has caused the family of four significant financial pressure. The Foundation has supported the family with mortgage payments.
Noah and his family were first referred to us in June, 2017 following his diagnosis of leukemia. At the time of diagnosis, Noah was four years old. As are many of the families referred to us, this is a proud, independent family who didn’t want to accept financial assistance, often feeling other people may be more needy than they. After struggling with treatment and its inevitable financial consequences for more than two years, the family finally agreed to let the Foundation provide some assistance. We were able to pay some utility bills, monthly rent and offer some gift cards to purchase food and household essentials.
Often, the children referred to us are treated at more than one hospital. Such is the case with eight year old Bryson, diagnosed with a brain tumor. His treatment plan called for chemotherapy at Penn State Children’s Hospital followed by proton therapy at CHOP in Philadelphia. Such an extensive treatment schedule, and the travel necessary to accomplish it, made it impossible for the family of five to manage financially without some assistance. The Foundation was able to provide grocery gift cards and mortgage payments to help the family during Bryson’s treatment.
We’re sorry we won’t be meeting with many of you at our annual June fundraising event, the Jeff Musser Golf Classic, cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns. We do, though, want to thank many of you who have continued to support the event with donations, even though we can’t be together this year. For the period since our last report to you in April, we’ve helped a total of forty families with rent or mortgage assistance. Those payments are in addition to utility payments, gift cards, auto loan payments and a myriad of other expenses for the families we serve. Needless to say, none of this assistance would be possible without the continuing support of people like you. This has been a strange year, for all of us. One constant, though, is the generosity of our supporters. We humbly thank you!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation