To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in June. We’re seeing more cases where children are being treated at more than one hospital, for a variety of reasons. Nathan was referred to us nearly four years after his diagnosis with a stage 3 Wilms tumor. He is now seven years old and has been through many treatments, procedures and surgeries. He’s been treated at CHOP in Philadelphia and Geisinger Children’s Hospital. We recently were notified that Nathan has suffered his third relapse. Obviously, seeking treatment over such an extended period has proved financially difficult for the family. The Foundation has provided gift cards for groceries and is covering the family’s mortgage for most of 2020.
Two year old Kei’mani was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that attacks muscle tissue, at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. Her treatment plan included intensive chemotherapy and radiation. Kei’mani’s mom, a single mother of four children, is a home health aide who was unable to work due to her daughter’s aggressive treatment schedule. The family moved to a more accommodating apartment that did not include a refrigerator. To help the family get settled, the Foundation purchased a refrigerator, paid several months’ rent and supplied gift cards to purchase groceries.
Beth-elle was first diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in May of 2018 when she was 22 years old. She was treated with chemotherapy with good results but routine imaging about a year later showed metastatic disease. Unfortunately, her time being symptom free and able to resume a “normal” life was a brief one. Progression of Beth-elle’s disease began to make life at home difficult and hazardous since she was unable to ambulate independently in the older family home. A friend of the Foundation made modifications to the home so Beth-elle could be at home with her family and friends during the last months of her life. The Foundation covered the expenses of the home modifications, auto loan payments, some utility payments, and sadly, funeral costs.
Lucas is described as a “medically complex” three year old who has been treated for more than two years with Leukemia. He’s had a bone marrow transplant and was in the PICU for six months. Lucas has had many scheduled and unscheduled admissions to CHOP and, at the time we received his family’s referral, he was being seen in the hospital 5 days a week for various disciplines. Lucas’ mom took an unpaid leave of absence from her work to care for her son and his dad works at a job where he is paid on commission so his frequent absences have caused the family’s financial stability to be greatly compromised. Dad was also advised by Lucas’ doctors that his work should be curtailed due to Covid-19 concerns regarding his son’s compromised immune system. The Foundation is making mortgage payments for the family until their financial situation eases.
This year we received our first two referrals for Amish families, both in the space of a week from two separate hospitals. Benuel is an 11 year old who is being treated for osteosarcoma of his right leg with metastasis to both lungs. He’s expected to have months of treatment that include chemotherapy, surgery, and possibly radiation with several scheduled and unscheduled admissions to the hospital. Benuel lives at home with his mom, dad and seven siblings, including a baby brother who was born two days before Benuel’s diagnosis. Dad is a dairy farmer and the family lives in an old farmhouse that was infested with mold. The discovery of the mold problem in the house made it impossible for the hospital to release Benuel to go home with his family. The Foundation covered the cost of a mold remediation team to treat the family’s home so Benuel could be in a healthier environment with his family.
As you already know, both of our fundraisers, the Jeff Musser Golf Classic and the Cadillac Dinner, have been cancelled this year because of Covid-19 concerns. We’ve just ended our fiscal year and we’ve had the largest year of spending for the families we support in the history of the Foundation! Needless to say, our thanks go out to all of you who’ve continued to support us with your generous contributions even though none of our events can be held. We’re committed to continuing the mission that’s so important to all of us. With your continued support, we’ll be able to do so. As always, we humbly thank you!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation