To All of Our Supporters,
Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in February.
Fifteen-year-old Jay first started to develop symptoms late in the fall of 2020 and was seen by numerous specialists at Penn State Children’s Hospital before being diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma. He had resection of the tumor in his spinal cord and has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy and much time admitted to the hospital for treatment. Jay’s mother did not qualify for FMLA through her employer and was laid off from her full-time job when she needed to be with her son at the hospital. Since mom is Jay’s primary caregiver, the Foundation is covering her mortgage while Jay receives treatment.
Sadly, not all the families with whom we interact have a good outcome. Fernando was nine years old when he was admitted to Nemours and diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He was inpatient for two months for induction and chemotherapy. While their sick son was in the hospital, the family was forced to find a new residence because of mold issues in their home. Dad continued to work as much as possible, but mom took unpaid leave to care for her son and daughter. Unfortunately, Fernando lost his battle with cancer a little more than a month after being discharged from the hospital. The Foundation was asked to help with funeral costs the family could not cover.
Lisandra is a sweet 3-year-old little girl with Down Syndrome, diabetes and, more recently diagnosed with B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. The first part of her intensive chemotherapy required an extended period of hospitalization. She continues with intensive chemotherapy but has since been discharged from the hospital allowing her to be more comfortable at home with outpatient therapy and follow-up at least weekly at PSH. Lisandra will remain in treatment for more than two more years so this has been and will continue to be a difficult road for her and her family, emotionally and financially. Prior to diagnosis, dad worked full time and mom remained at home to care for their daughter. Following the diabetes diagnosis, dad took FMLA to get the family into a “new normal” routine, but the cancer diagnosis shortly thereafter caused additional time off work and lost wages. The Foundation is assisting the family with rent and the payment of an auto loan.
Jake was twelve years old when he was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in June of 2017 at Penn State Children’s Hospital. Since that time, he’s been on oral chemotherapy. Unfortunately, his CML has recently become resistant to several different oral agents and he is now in need of a bone marrow transplant. Jake lives with his half-sister and mom who is only able to work part time due to the care needed by her children. She is not eligible for FMLA and will have to take an unpaid leave of absence from her job to be with Jake throughout the transplant process which is expected to take at least three to four months. Mom has not wanted to accept much assistance throughout the years of Jake’s treatment, but the loss of income for several months is of great concern. The Foundation will cover the family’s rent during this stressful time.
Conner was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the end of 2020. Prior to his diagnosis, Conner split his time between both of his parents but since his diagnosis, he has spent all his time with his mother who is the main medical caregiver for her son. The surgery to remove the tumor will significantly impact Conner’s shoulder and limit the mobility of his elbow, wrist, hand, and fingers. Mom has had to find a new residence and with limited resources, her options are limited. The Foundation has provided a security deposit and rent for a new residence for the family.
We’ve been continually amazed, throughout the crazy year we’ve all experienced, just how little the needs of the families we assist have altered. The rent still needs to be paid and mortgage, auto loans and utility bills come due, as always. Another constant is your continued support and encouragement as we endeavor to carry out our mission. The Jeff Musser Golf Classic is scheduled for June 23 this year and the golf courses have already been filled by so many of our supporters and friends. We thank you for your continued generosity!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation