Assisted Children: Individual Stories
Child Struggles Battling Multiple Tumors While Grandmother Fights to Keep Family Together
Collection Complete June 2013. Thanks to JJCCF’s Financial Assistance, Advocacy and Share the Joy programs this family benefited from having access to basic human needs during a dreadful time. Davaxha’s wish to be in the news comes true. View press Holiday story Sun-Sentinel 12/1/12
Davaxha, 12 Y/O, Broward Health Medical Center
Davaxha is a 12 y/o girl with a beautiful shy smile that is struggling in her battle with Optic Glioma (brain tumor – cancer). At the beginning of 2011, Davaxha began to show signs of paralysis in her right hand, then left foot and then right side of her face which led to her diagnosis in September of last year. Immediate brain surgery was required to relieve the pressure, but the primary tumor could not be removed as it can only be treated with intense chemotherapy. Soon after other tumors were found; behind each eye, in her spine, right foot and tongue. To make matters worse, Davaxha’s grandmother and recent legal guardian had to transition from working two jobs to part time work in order to care for Davaxha and her younger sister. This change in income has created a financial and emotional crisis given the mother had already been struggling to save the children from foster care since 2006. The family is weary from the increasing emotional and financial stress but continues to become stronger in their commitment to beat this cancer and to stay together. Pure and simple, the grandmother has stated that they will live in a car before she gives up her grandchildren to foster care.
Davaxha’s family needs immediate help to pay their rent, utilities, food and gas.
Message from Hospital Social Worker, 10/22/12:
Davaxha Trollinger is a twelve year-old patient at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic at Broward Health. She is diagnosed with an optic chiasm glioma (brain tumor) and neurofibromatosis Type I. Davaxha receives intravenous chemotherapy treatment at the hospital several times per month. Her guardian, which is her maternal grandmother, works in a school but has used all her paid leave. Her grandmother is devoted to caring for Davaxha and her younger sister. She requires financial assistance to be able to pay her household expenses because of the loss of income from having to take days off to bring Davaxha for treatment. Thank you for your consideration.
Bernadette Brunetti, LCSW
Plea from Grandmother, 10/23/12:
I would like to take this opportunity to share my story with you all, if not to help my family, but in hopes to help other families that find themselves in a similar situation as myself and are in need of assistance from others to just get through everyday living expenses.
My story is about a 12 year old, very shy little girl named Davaxha. Davaxha suffers from neurofibromatosis or NFI. It is a genetic disorder of the nervous system and causes tumors to grow on nerves. Davaxha has this disorder from birth. It is incurable. For Davaxha, tumors grow on her brain. Davaxha is receiving chemotherapy treatments every week at the hospital. The next day she is sick. As difficult and painful as it is for Davaxha, we are most grateful that her condition is now stable.
Sadly, Davaxha’s parents could not take care of her. Her mother signed custody of Davaxha and her younger sister to me, her grandmother. It is now my responsibility to care for their needs. This is very difficult but I could not turn my back on these children. They did not ask to be born into this situation. Yet, I barely can make ends meet for myself as I work in a cafeteria for a public school. It is not easy for any grandparent to raise two grandchildren, one of whom is very sick, in these poor economic times. However, I am grateful to the school board of Broward County for allowing me one day a week off from my job without pay to take Davaxha for her therapy treatment without fear of losing my job. As difficult as it is for me, I count my blessings and thank God for each and every day that Davaxha is with me. I thank this wonderful organization whose help is so invaluable to meeting daily expenses like food, rent, utilities, and clothing.
Most of all my deepest thanks and gratitude goes to all of you who can find it in your heart to make donations to this wonderful foundation that can help Davaxha and others like her. Thank you all.
Testimonial from Grandmother, 09/16/12:
The need is constantly growing for single parents and grandparents to call on organizations such as yours to help support the families they love and care for. I have always been in my grandchildren’s lives, but about 6 years ago they began living with me here in Florida. The youngest is Aryel and her older sister is Davaxha. Davaxha is 12 years old and was born 1/19/2000. She was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NFI) at birth. In 2010, Davaxha’s condition progressed and she had a VP shunt placed in her head to drain the fluid build-up from one of her many tumors in her brain and she started chemotherapy because the brain cancer was
spreading. Davaxha is a trooper and one of the sweetest kids you would want to know. She just graduated from 5th grade where she was awarded for her drive and achievement. Like everyone else, I want the best for my family and wish to keep them from the worst. In short, a diagnosis of childhood cancer creates an immediate medical, emotional and financial crisis for many families. That is why JJCCF provides emergency financial relief to help families pay for everyday necessities. This direct and tangible assistance for basic needs is vital to our survival as a family while Davaxha is getting treatment.
Marjorie JohnsonDevaxha at Broward Health