Susana, 45, rectal cancer

Your Holiday Giving Can Help Families Facing the Many Costs of Cancer

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No one wants cancer for the holidays, but cancer doesn’t care about its unwelcome timing.

When a family faces a cancer diagnosis, they often struggle to pay for essential bills like housing payments, childcare, and groceries on top of the many costs of cancer. Carrying the financial and emotional weight of your own or a loved one’s diagnosis can leave little energy for arranging holiday celebrations.

This is why Family Reach’s annual end-of-year campaign, Hope for the Holidays, exists. With help from our generous community, we can reach more families with financial help and let them know they’re not alone during a time when they need it most.

Join Hope for the Holidays 2021 to make a difference for families like these:

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Avyn, 7, New York

After finding out that he had rhabdomyosarcoma in April, Avyn has braved surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy treatments, frequent hospitalizations, and routine clinic appointments.

Unfortunately, this intense treatment plan isn’t the only challenge 7-year-old Avyn and his family faced this year. When a hurricane swept through New York earlier this year, the flash flooding ruined their belongings and damaged the apartment until it became too unsafe to live in. Avyn is now living at his grandmother’s house with his mom and three siblings until they can find a new home.

For families like these, your Hope for the Holidays support will be a source of hope, comfort, and celebration during a time when they need it most.

Susana, 45, Colorado

Susana is a single mom of four loving children, ages 7, 9, 19, and 21. When she was diagnosed with stage IV rectal cancer in March 2016, she was no longer able to work full-time due to the demands of treatment. While the family receives some government assistance and Susana’s oldest daughter works to help take care of her mom and siblings, the limited income isn’t enough to manage the many lingering costs of cancer.

Sadly, Susana relapsed in April 2020 and is now in palliative care. While the family is already struggling financially, they now have to carry the emotions of Susana’s terminal illness.

As this family prepares for what may be their last holiday season together, extra support will help keep their spirits high and provide relief for stress-free celebrations.

Melaine, 2, Massachusetts

After being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September, little Melaine has been in inpatient care for treatment. Her mom, Mariela, is currently on unpaid leave from work so that she can be at Melaine’s side in the hospital.

Mariela is the sole provider for this family of two, and they live with Melaine’s grandmother, aunt, and uncle. As Mariela dips into her savings to cover her monthly expenses, the financial hardship of Melaine’s diagnosis is adding to the emotional stress.

Hope for the Holidays will provide some relief to families like Melaine’s so they can celebrate together without worrying about the many challenges of a cancer diagnosis.

Jeriah, 13, Texas

Jeriah lives with his grandparents and brother in Texas. His family was first introduced to cancer when his sister was diagnosed a few years ago and, sadly, passed away. In December 2019, Jeriah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is currently going through treatment.

Last month, the family faced another health scare when they all tested positive for COVID-19. In a heartbreaking turn of events, Jeriah’s grandfather passed away and now his grandmother is the sole provider and caregiver. While she works when she can and cares for her grandchildren tirelessly, she’s overwhelmed by the emotional and financial weight of losing her husband and dealing with her grandson’s cancer diagnosis.

As Jeriah’s family tries to wrap their heads around what the holidays will look like for them this year, Hope for the Holidays support will be a source of joy at a time when they need it most.

Jeremiah, 56, Mississippi

Jeremiah is a single dad of three who is currently in treatment for stage II rectal cancer. He continues to care for his daughters while following his treatment plan, which includes a colostomy that limits how much he can work.

Jeremiah’s insurance doesn’t cover his colostomy supplies or other costs of treatment, so he’s quickly feeling the financial weight of his diagnosis. What’s more, Jeremiah has to travel over 50 miles for his appointments, which adds extra transportation costs to his out-of-pocket expenses.

As Jeremiah falls behind on household bills, some extra support this holiday season will allow him to enjoy stress-free celebrations with his family.

Help cancer patients across the country stay in their homes and focus on healing this holiday season. Make a donation today!

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Stevie Snow
Senior Creative and Brand Manager • Family Reach Team

Always walking the fine line between her right and left brain, Stevie brings her creative and strategic thinking to her role as Senior Creative and Brand Manager. Her work amplifies Family Reach’s voice and brings attention to the financial impacts of a cancer diagnosis.

Read more from Stevie

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