A lover of books and music, Virginia enjoys finding ways to expand her mind and see the world in a new light. In June of 2014, however, Virginia’s world turned dark when at 20-years old, she was diagnosed with stage III Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Virginia lives with her 74-year-old father, Richard, who is unable to work due to his debilitating health. Her mother passed away a year before, leaving Virginia as Richard’s primary caretaker, adding to the emotional trauma the family was feeling.

Richard, Virginia and Family Reach’s Jennifer

As a result of her diagnosis, Virginia stopped working and needed to be on an expensive diet which required her to eat special food. She traveled over 70 miles from San Antonio, Texas for her treatments and frequent doctors appointments. These unexpected expenses made it difficult for this family of two to afford their basic needs.

“I had no idea how hard it was going to be to stay afloat financially until we were down to pretty much nothing in our cupboards,” says Virginia.

Thanks to the Family Reach community, we were able to provide Virginia and her dad with a grant that would cover their rent, gasoline and food. This gave them a sense of security and allowed them to stay in their home until Virginia was able to work again.

A unique connection

Throughout her entire cancer-journey, Virginia found comfort in working with our social worker, Jennifer. Jennifer went above and beyond in staying in touch with the family, helping them successfully navigate this difficult time.

“I still remember hearing the relief in their voices when this grant was approved,” says Jennifer. “Richard expressed how one day he wanted to thank me in person as he couldn’t believe a perfect stranger across the country would help them.”

Family Reach social worker, Maggie, joins in on the fun!

A couple years later, after Virginia was deemed cancer-free, Jennifer traveled to Texas for a conference. She knew she wanted to meet the family.

“It felt like I was planning a family reunion! Our conversations were endless and I couldn’t stop smiling,” says Jennifer. “Meeting Virginia and Richard was one of the most meaningful moments for me at Family Reach.”

“It meant the world to me because I was able to finally see those behind the help I received in what was the hardest ordeal of my life,” says Virginia. “It was as if we knew each other in a past life — I felt a genuine connection to them. If it weren’t for Family Reach, we wouldn’t have made it through and would still be swimming in medical bills.”

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