November 2016 – Baby A.
Baby A is 18 months old and was born with genetic non-curable disease that attacks his neuromuscular system and degenerates his muscles. Tragically, Baby A's expected lifespan is now measured in mere months. Since time with Baby A is so precious, his single mother is determined to spend every possible moment with him, even as she works full time to support her family — including her parents. Mom is not only emotionally devastated, she is financially drained. When the family's social worker reached out to ASRL to assist so that Mom can focus on her child, ASRL responded quickly with payments totaling $900 to cover the car payment, phone bill and urgent household needs.
There are so many families with urgent needs, and many that face unthinkable medical situations like Baby A's. While we cannot cure the child, we can help "when compassion can't wait," allowing Baby A's family the precious gift of time with him. Won't you help with a family like Baby A's?
Softening a 700-Mile Round Trip to the Hospital
When a child is in treatment for cancer, every minute of time with him to provide comfort and support helps. And the assistance of the entire community can really make a difference. This month, among the more than 19 families we are assisting, we are helping to soften the burden of a 10 hour round trip to the hospital by the T. family.
Eleven-year old C.T. and his mother drive 700 miles each week to and from the hospital for cancer treatments. Mom takes unpaid time off from work to make the trip and to stay at her son’s side while he receives his chemotherapy. While mom and son are grateful to be able to be together, the lack of income is taking a serious toll on the family, including two other siblings back at home. Gas is expensive and the family is three months behind on paying their rent.
Thanks to an active hospital social worker, other cancer and community organizations had stepped up to help the T. family. But when those resources were exhausted, the family was at risk of eviction and the social worker reached out to ASRL to request urgent aid. She included a letter from the landlord saying that all late charges would be forgiven if ASRL could catch the family up on their rent. If the rent couldn’t be paid, the family risked losing their home.
With the help and support of funds contributed by ASRL donors, ASRL immediately paid three months of rent ($1800) and worked with the landlord to reduce the rent by an additional $100 per month.
Thanks to ASRL donors, a hard-working social worker, and ASRL’s advocacy on behalf of the family, the T. family can breathe a little easier knowing that they have a stable home during son C.’s life-threatening medical journey.
CASE OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2015: KEEPING BETHANY’S MOM AT HER BEDSIDE
This month we are privileged to help Lori stay at her daughter Bethany’s side.
After suffering from leg pain for six weeks that was mistakenly diagnosed as a pulled muscle, Bethany felt the pain intensify. A trip to the emergency room revealed a blood clot and extremely elevated white cells. Bethany was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia on September 4, 2015. Overnight, her family’s life changed.
With her father having his own medical issues that prevented him from working for the past several years and the hospital a two-hour drive from home, the family faced emotional and financial devastation. It was imperative that Mom stayed by Bethany’s side, but it meant taking unpaid leave from work. Not only was the family facing a severe medical crisis, but they risked losing their home.
When the family’s social worker reached out to ASRL’s program manager to request assistance with urgent expenses, the foundation immediately assisted with payments for the family’s mortgage and utilities.
While Bethany and her family face many challenges ahead, including a bone marrow transplant, they are heartened that a bone marrow donor has been found.
Says, Lori, Bethany’s mom:
“While we are only about halfway through, we hope, our treatment path before transplant, I don’t know what we would have done without Andre River of Life Foundation. A huge heartfelt thank you for all that you do.”
Bethany and Lori, we are here for you.