To All of Our Supporters, Listed below is an update on some families we have been helping since our last report in August.
Three-year-old Izzy was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in December 2020 at Geisinger Medical Center outside our geographic area. In the spring, her parents decided to move Izzy and her two siblings closer to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital so she could receive the necessary additional surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and two stem cell transplants closer to extended family in our area. The family’s social worker at PSH asked the Foundation if we would support the family by helping to purchase a mobile home for the family’s use. The Foundation was able to fulfill the request and Izzy is now closer to extended family and a patient at PSH.
Even when a friend of the Foundation reaches out to us about aiding a family they know, we always check with the family’s social worker at one of the hospitals with which we partner. The social workers are able to give us medical information the parents agree to share, and they know all the resources that may or may not be available to a particular family. Such was the case with Ethan who was sixteen years old when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. This form of cancer requires roughly one year of intensive treatment including chemotherapy, surgery and possibly radiation. Hospitalizations may be required intermittently due to infections caused by the patient’s compromised immune system. Such an intensive treatment schedule makes it difficult to maintain household budgets due to lost wages. The Foundation was able to make mortgage payments for the family to ease some of the financial strain.
Maya is a thirteen-year-old girl who was diagnosed with AML in the Spring. Her treatment plan was designed to include several rounds of intense chemotherapy with perhaps a bone marrow transplant. During this intense treatment schedule, in the middle of the hottest part of this past summer, the family’s air conditioning stopped working in the home Maya shares with her parents and three younger siblings. Replacing an HVAC system in a home is not usually a budgeted expense, especially when there are four children, one of whom is ill and needs to be in a healthy environment. The Foundation paid the costs of replacing the HVAC system in the home.
Hunter is a strong, optimistic young adult who is being treated this year for relapsed Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He was originally diagnosed in 2012 and did well with his treatment and stem cell transplant. The Foundation assisted the family during his original treatment. Since that time, he’d been doing well in both academics and sports. Hunter’s relapse early this year has been a difficult road for him and his family. The intensive chemotherapy, radiation and another stem cell transplant were difficult, and several setbacks and complications kept him admitted to the hospital for longer than anticipated. But the light at the end of the tunnel was well in sight when the family’s social worker contacted the Foundation again to provide a bit of financial support for the family by paying an auto loan while mom takes some time off work to help Hunter transition to an apartment for transplant patients.
A few weeks prior to his eighteenth birthday, high school graduation and prom, Drew was diagnosed with High-Risk B-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was due to begin college this fall but has deferred his entrance for a year when his treatment should be more manageable. There are always unforeseen challenges during each cancer journey and Drew’s family had its share with unplanned hospital admissions and visits to the emergency department. Making matters worse, the family was in a car accident during the summer and the insurance company totaled the vehicle. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, but a reliable vehicle is a necessity when a family member is making frequent visits to the hospital. The Foundation provided a down payment for a new vehicle.
This year is proving to be another challenging one. Covid concerns again led us to make the decision to cancel plans to hold the Cadillac Dinner in September. We have missed seeing some of you at this yearly event but offer our thanks to those of you who felt compelled to offer your financial support even without the dinner being held. We’ve seen a sharp uptick in the number of requests for support we’ve been receiving. During the month of October, the Foundation will be covering the rent or mortgage for a total of seventeen families, plus providing a mobile home for one more. We’re doing our very best to keep up with the requests that come our way with your continued support. We will again be participating in Lancaster’s Extra Ordinary Give on November 19. You can click on the ExtraGive logo on our website to find us. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity!
The Board and Volunteers of the Jeff Musser Foundation