Hope For The Holidays 12.15.17.

December 16, 2017


Dear Johnny, 

I never thought this would be a letter I would be writing or asking for help.  My husband died in an auto accident 3 years ago, it was such a hard time. Our children Haley (6), Max (8) and Donnie (16) were devastated, he was such
a great husband and father.  We slowly somewhat healed and grew into our new reality and tried to make it work for us. About a year and a half later, Just when it seemed like we had all gotten adjusted to this life without him, my oldest son was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, which is cancer in the kidney. Luckily it was isolated to one kidney and not both.  It was such a hard time.  My younger children look up to their
older brother as almost a substitution for their dad and they just shut down, were so worried and terrified of losing another important person in their life.  I tried to be reassuring and always told them we were survivors we were going to beat this all together as a family.  So with all 3 children we
traveled to several different doctors and states to get the very best treatment we could for my son.  Over the next 13 months my son went through 2 surgeries, a biopsy to diagnose the cancer and then later a surgery to remove
the effected kidney and chemotherapy.  I am happy to say, that although a huge struggle, he is, for now, cancer free. It has been a tremendous cost to our family both financial and emotional.  I had to quit my job, tremendous hotel and travel expenses, as well as medication, hospital expenses (not
covered by insurance), and the care for my other children while my son and I were away with treatments or surgery.  I thought after my husband had died and we finally figured out life without him that we could do it.  I had a little bit of savings, an ok job and a small life insurance policy from my
husband.  Never do you think or plan for one of your children getting such a life threatening illness or diagnosis.  You think ok, I've gone through the worst life has to offer with the passing of my husband, nothing can conquer me now, and then your told your child has cancer and start talking about
treatments, survival rates and long term side effects.  It made everything else in my life I've ever gone through seem like nothing.  He had his last treatment and was cancer free in October.  In the 13 months that we were going through diagnosis, surgery and treatment, we moved to a smaller house, smaller, older car and cut back on all the expenses
we could.  I have completely depleted my savings.  I have started a new job about 2 weeks ago.  Unfortunately the money we have coming in (social security for my children since they lost their father) barely paid for the necessities, food, health insurance, rent and utilities.  I usually have to
juggle bills, so carefully.  I am so thankful for the "cold weather rule" because it means I have more time with my gas and electricity.  It has been so hard, but my kids are so great.   They know things are hard, they can tell.  They say everything is fine. I feel bad, because although my oldest son is so grateful for his outcome, I think there is part of him that feels so guilty, like he put us in this position.  He has offered to get a part time job, do anything he can to try and help provide Christmas for his brother and sister. I have told
him not to worry, I have this under control, but I don't.   I have kept my head above water, but had to spend the tiny bit of money I had set aside on my car to get repaired, and I just don't know what else to do, or where to turn.  They have seen so much sadness and uncertainty in their short lives, I just want them to be happy.  They are so great and appreciate the gift they've been given with my sons prognosis, but they are still kids, they still want things and it makes me feel so bad that I am having to find help to provide them with just a few of the little things. I know you have so many people that are making request, and regardless of the
outcome, just want to thank you for taking the time to read my letter.



How We Helped: Paid The Electric & Gas Bill, Rent, & Gift Cards For Groceries & Christmas

Who Helped: Cosentino’s, Lauren, Bob, Chase, Stacy, Paul, & Rocky

H4H 12-15.mp3