Dear JJCCF Friends,
The needs for these families enduring pediatric cancer exceed the Jessica June Children's Cancer Foundation (JJCCF) ability to assist them. We are reaching out for outside support for 3 families who need urgent assistance to survive a temporary crisis which I can only describe as "raw human misery". JJCCF has already provided $2,000 per family representing basic human needs which is significant, but not sufficient. As an advocate for these children in need fighting cancer, I am reaching out for YOUR help.
JJCCF is asking for anyone"s help! Gift cards for food, gas or donations to JJCCF would be appreciated. If you have any suggestions or questions please contact me at (954)593-5603.
Your support is very important. Please mail gift cards or a tax-deductible check payable to "JJCCF" to: Jessica June Children's Cancer Foundation, Broward General Medical Center,1600 S. Andrews Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 or make an Online Donation via our website.
Thank you for your ongoing support!
President / Founder
Their Individual Stories:
1) Cara, 3 yrs, Stage IV Neuroblastoma, Chris Evert Children"s Hospital at Broward General:
We recently assisted this homeless family of six currently living at the Ronald McDonald House by Broward General Medical Center. Both parents are unemployed. Mother had to give up her job at American Intercontinental University in Student Affairs to become the full time caregiver after her child was diagnosed with cancer. Father got laid off from his job at Mercedes as a Service Advisor. Mom received JJCCF checks to help with their past due FPL (electricity), cell phone, car insurance & Gas/Grocery Gift Cards. You would never be able to tell Cara is very sick as she is happy and hyper. Mom has an extraordinary sense of humor even though she is also facing medical problems of her own as she spent some time in the emergency room recently. She has been referred to see a Hematology doctor who may be able to diagnose her condition. Find Out More
2) Marcus, 3 yrs old, Stage IV Neuroblastoma, Joe DiMaggio Children"s Hospital:
Marcus was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma on 12/11/09. After the child was diagnosed, family"s car got repossessed and lost their home because they could no longer make payments. Family had to give up everything and move from Palm Beach County to Broward County in order for Marcus to receive cancer treatment. Marcus is constantly in and out of Joe DiMaggio Children"s Hospital receiving treatment for his advanced cancer and already had surgery on his back skull to remove a mass tumor. Mom has to be the full time caregiver and Dad lost his job in construction because he was missing work to be with his sick baby. JJCCF volunteer met with this family on 2/11/10 to deliver an urgent check for $1,200, otherwise landlord at their new rental was going to place all their belongings in the lawn that day. We also provided $200 Publix and $125 Gas cards. This family is living day to day trying to survive, cover their human needs and take care of their very sick baby. It is a crisis. Recently the family came to me because they needed to immediately utilize the rest of the funds we had for them. Mom first said she wanted $400 Publix and $125 Gas cards but she changed her mind. She said they will sacrifice Publix to get her husband to the doctor and provide his medicines he has not been able to afford. Instead of Publix we made a $400 check out to A P Clinic in Boca so Dad could take care of his health needs. Find Out More
Mothers swap children: Cara & Marcus
3) Liana, 5 yrs old, Leukemia (AML), Baptist Hospital:
We assisted this child/family last year. Mother used to work in housekeeping for Leon Clinic in Hialeah until her daughter got diagnosed with cancer and had to become her full time caregiver. Father got laid off from AIP-Air Conditioning. Family"s low income level (no income now) qualifies for government programs such as Social Security Income and Medicaid insurance. I recently received a letter from Baptist Hospital social worker explaining the unusual circumstances for this family:
Re: Letter Regarding Lilibet Garcia Sister of Liana Garcia
March 3, 2010
To Whom It May Concern:
The purpose of this letter is to present Lilibet Garcia. She is an 18 year old Hispanic female. Lilibet"s sister- Liana Garcia- was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent chemotherapy. Soon after Liana completed the treatment, Lilibet was diagnosed with cancer as well- abdominal mass/malignant Sarcoma Rhabdo, (February 2010).
Lilibet will have to miss work- she worked at a bank. Needless to say, her parents have not been able to look for work since both daughters have been ill. The father had a job interview on the day Lilibet was diagnosed. The family is facing trying times and the income is very limited.
The mother has asked me to present this letter. Lilibet has been greatly affected by the present situation. She is receiving chemotherapy and has been ill. The parents are trying to be there for both daughters.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 786-596-6578 or 786-594-9134.
Gloria M. Ortiz, MSW
*Update: on 3/26/10 we received an update from social worker. Lilibet"s diagnosis has been changed to "undifferentiated cancer". This is not good news as she will need a more aggressive treatment. Lilibet had to rush for immediate chemo treatment at Baptist Hospital as soon as they received the biopsy results. Genetic testing was done and tests revealed the sisters" cancers are not genetic. Find Out More
Sisters Lilibet & Liana both cope with cancer (photo taken 3-17-10)