Traveling for treatment

Name: Malia
Age at diagnosis: 3 tyears
Diagnosis: Neuroblastoma
How Family Reach helped: Grant to help with rent and utilities

In the spring of 2011, at just 3 years old, Malia Jusczyk was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. When the Jusczyk family received the diagnosis, they moved from Florida back to their home state of Massachusetts in order to be closer to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Initially, Malia’s parents, Glen and Megan, rented an apartment close to the hospitals, but the high rent put a strain on the family’s finances. Soon they moved to a very small, modest place in Dennis Port, further away from the treatment centers, but with a lower rent.

Following Malia’s diagnosis, Megan continued to work in order to maintain health insurance, while Glen quit his job to care for Malia full time during intensive treatment. Eventually, Glen started a part-time business at home to help support the family. This allowed him to continue to care for Malia and take her to frequent medical appointments, some of which were out of state. Though they lived very simply, the family still struggled to meet their everyday bills due to mounting treatment-related expenses. Glen and Megan were very grateful when Family Reach provided financial assistance to help with rent and utilities. “Thank you for doing all that you do for all of us going through this. We couldn’t do it without you,” said Glen.

Today, Malia is 5 years old, in remission, and doing well. She continues to travel with her dad to an out-of-state treatment center for a remission trial, a safety measure to prevent the recurrence of her cancer. At home, she enjoys baking, painting, crafts, and swimming. Her parents are thrilled that Malia is doing so well. “Our dreams for Malia are [for her] to be able to do whatever she enjoys most in life, for the rest of her life,” said Glen. “We realize that we can never know how long Malia will be on this earth, so we want to expose her to everything and anything that is positive and enjoyable to her so that she lives life to the fullest for as long as she can!”

Last update: July 31, 2014