#MissionMonday: Gregory’s Story
Gregory is an 18-year-old living in a Boston suburb with his parents, his twin sister, Kat and his older brother, Mac. In March of his senior year of high school, he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the muscle tissue. Instead of getting ready for college alongside Kat, Gregory began an intensive 42-week treatment protocol at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) involving chemotherapy and proton radiation. Gregory’s community rallied around him and his family, making every effort to support them as they remain united as a family against cancer.
Since diagnosis, Gregory has spent a considerable amount of time at the hospital, both inpatient and often for many successive days of outpatient therapy. He lives 40 miles from the hospital, a two hour commute each way. Both of Gregory’s parents are employed, although his mother has had to reduce her hours because of Gregory’s treatment and ongoing care. The family’s expenses have increased significantly since diagnosis, including parking fees, co-payments, traveling to and from the hospital and several hotel stays lasting as many as five nights while Gregory was too sick to manage the drive back and forth for chemotherapy.
Gregory’s social worker at MGH has been closely monitoring the family’s financial burden related to his cancer over the past year. When the family’s oncology social worker finally contacted Family Reach on their behalf, she reported, “This loving, close knit family has been reluctant to seek any financial help, but they are now amenable to support at this juncture in Gregory’s treatment.”
Gregory’s mother, Sue, expressed her gratitude to Family Reach, “Thank you very much for all that you do to help families going through this very difficult journey. Your organization and the people we have met and have supported us have been amazing. Your support along with our family, friends and community has sustained us and kept us moving forward…we could not have done it without you. Gregory’s spirit and determination continue to inspire us.”