A new home, a safe environment

Name: Kalo
Age at diagnosis: 18 months
Diagnosis: Leukemia
How Family Reach helped: Grant to cover the first and last months’ rent for an apartment

After a routine doctor’s appointment, life changed dramatically for Raquel and her 18-month-old son, Mikalo, nicknamed Kalo. Kalo showed signs of leukemia and was immediately hospitalized for assessment. Raquel discovered Kalo would need to stay in the hospital for a month. “It was the scariest moment of my life,” she said. In order to take care of Kalo, Raquel left her job. She reflected, “The best decision that I had to make was to be there for my son, stay with him every step of the way, hold his hand.”

Raquel planned on relying on money she had saved up to cover expenses while Kalo underwent treatment. Unfortunately, Kalo’s battle against leukemia lasted longer than anticipated, depleting her savings. Without funds to cover the costs of living, Raquel and Kalo lost their home and were forced to move into a shelter. They endured 2 years of chemotherapy treatments while living in the crowded shelter. When the leukemia returned, it was determined that Kalo needed a bone marrow transplant. Since Kalo would be very vulnerable to infection after the transplant, he needed a sterile environment for recovery. Raquel knew that they couldn’t stay in the shelter and went to the hospital counselor hoping for help. The counselor shared their story with Family Reach, who immediately responded by providing a grant for the first and last months’ rent for an apartment. This enabled Kalo to heal from the surgery in a safe environment. Raquel said that Family Reach “…gave me hope. By being connected with Family Reach, they allowed me to maintain that focus [on Kalo].”

Kalo recovered well from his bone marrow transplant and Raquel has been able to see him grow into a healthy young boy. She says, “To look at him, to see him walk, run, play—you would never know that he’s been through everything he’s been through.”

Last update: September 19, 2014