Maui is a bright little girl who is always full of life. She was gearing up for her fifth birthday when a routine eye exam revealed optic nerve glioma – a brain tumor that arises in or around the optic nerve.
“I will never forget the date. All parents with sick children have them burned into their brain,” said Maui’s mother, Susan.
A challenging time
Maui had no issues with her vision prior to her diagnosis. That all quickly changed. She started wearing glasses and lost the use of her left eye. She will never recover it.
Maui began chemotherapy at a hospital 90 minutes away from her home. It was a long journey, but Susan was committed to doing whatever it would take to get her daughter the care she needed. .
The day after Maui’s first chemotherapy treatment, Susan and her husband of seven years separated. The separation touched every corner of this family’s life, and finances were no exception. Susan worked part time to maintain some sort of income while looking after her daughter. It didn’t take long before she depleted her savings.
Susan was plagued with anxiety over how she was going to pay the bills and take care of Maui at the same time. She applied for SSI for Maui, but, since the divorce wasn’t yet legal, her household income put her above the assistance threshold.
Making ends meet
Susan patched together various forms of assistance to keep a roof over her and Maui’s heads. She hosted yard sales and applied for food stamps and energy assistance programs. Things took a positive turn when she was connected with Family Reach.
“Family Reach enabled me to care for Maui and provide for her in a way I otherwise never would have been able to,” said Susan. “I’m so grateful for the financial support they provided us.”
Maui’s latest MRI results show that her tumors are stable. Susan has remained strong in her faith, and Maui is looking towards a bright future!