Son Shares How Financial Support Helped His Mom Continue Cancer Treatment

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Photo: Angel with his mom when he was younger

Angel with his mom

When Angel’s mom, Teresa, started feeling unwell, they thought it was an everyday infection. Yet the symptoms lingered, and they knew it had to be something more.

They eventually received the news that Teresa had stage III cervical cancer, and Angel immediately entered caregiver mode while Teresa kept her spirits high. “My mom loves life too much … she’s outgoing, she adores dancing, and always turns up the volume on the salsa music.”

A delicate dance of cancer, grief, and financial hardship

Reflecting on the time since his mom’s diagnosis, Angel shared “Cancer is a huge thing to happen, and it was also the other things building up at the same time that has made this so hard. While we were fighting for answers about her health, my brother passed away. Since she started treatment, we lost my dad too. It’s just the two of us now.” 

Turning to each other for strength, Teresa continued treatment while Angel worked to cover as many expenses as possible. At times, Teresa would drive Angel to his overnight shift and sleep in the car while he worked to save money on gas. 

 “That was pretty tough on us,” Angel shared. “At that point, it was a choice between eating or paying the rent. I often chose to pay the rent late so my mom could keep up the good diet she needs to recover.”

Though Angel and Teresa found a doctor who graciously offered radiation therapy free of charge, her lack of insurance still makes it difficult to afford other treatment costs as well as gas for frequent trips to and from the hospital. The late fees and missed payments piled up, and Teresa chose to skip treatment for an entire month because money was too tight.


At that point, it was a choice between eating or paying the rent. I often chose to pay the rent late so my mom could keep up the good diet she needs to recover.


Finding hope and strength in financial support

Working with Teresa’s social worker to find financial resources, Angel was introduced to Family Reach. “I like to deal with things on my own” Angel admitted. “But I had to put the pride aside and once you do, you find out you’re not alone.”

Angel and Teresa used the financial support from Family Reach to catch up on their overdue rent and get on track for the coming months. Plus, “the timing couldn’t have been better,” Angel shared. “Our car completely stopped working about a week after you sent us the money. We need it to get to work and the hospital, and I don’t know what I would have done without the help we had just received.” 

As Angel and Teresa continue to persevere together, they’re grateful to release some of the weight on their shoulders.

“We’re doing better,” Angel said. “The support took a lot of stress away … my mom has finally been able to get back on treatment and I’ve started to take care of my mental health a lot more. It’s hard to put into words how thankful I am.”

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Sydney Waugh Headshot
Sydney Waugh
Content Intern

Sydney is an aspiring writer with much imagination and a lifetime of curiosity for storytelling. She’s fascinated with words’ ability to influence tone and evoke emotions, and she’s thrilled to continue honing her writing skills as the 2023 Content Intern at Family Reach.

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