Assisted Children: Individual Stories

Single Mother Supporting Family of 3 Unemployed as 13 Y/O Fights Leukemia

Collection Complete June 2013. Thanks to JJCCF’s Financial Assistance and Advocacy programs this family benefited from having access to basic human needs during a dreadful time. Thank you to Nature’s Products, Inc. employees for supporting Karyna and her family during their most difficult time. JJCCF volunteer, Ana Ramoski, raised funds for JJCCF to benefit Karyna.  See press:  Miami Herald 6/28/12


Karyna, 13 Y/O, Miami Children’s Hospital
Karyna was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) in April 2011. Since her diagnosis, she has been hospitalized at least 6 times, and has been receiving aggressive chemotherapy. During the time Karyna was hospitalized her mother Maria has not moved from her bedside, because of this Maria was recently laid off. Maria is the sole breadwinner for her family of three; they receive no help from Karyna’s father who is currently incarcerated. Maria is currently behind on her rent, phone, and water bill, she has also not been able to buy her eldest daughters school supplies that she needs to complete her final year of high school.


For the next couple of months while Karyna is undergoing intense chemotherapy, her family will need assistance with their rent, groceries, water and gift cards.

Message from Hospital Social Worker:

August 26, 2011

Dear Sandra,

Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foudantion

This letter is on behalf of Karyne Diaz, a thirteen-year old girl, diagnosed with Acute Lymph Leukemia (ALL) on April 2011. The patient is presently undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and has been hospitalized at least 6 times since her diagnosis. The patient is also followed on an outpatient basis by our Hematology/Oncology clinic.

The patient resides with her mother, Maria Gonzalez and her 18-year-old sister. Karyna’s dad is currently incarcerated, and has not seen his daughters in several years. Due to his incarceration, he is unable to assist the family financially.

The patient’s mother has been head household for several years, she is a hard worker, who never neglected her job duties, working from the hospital when Karyna was hospitalized. Unfortunately, last week Ms. Gonzalez was laid off by her employer. The family is in dire need of financial assistance with their basic needs such as: rent, groceries, water bill, phone, school uniform and school supplies for her oldest daughter, Maria. The financial stressors are having a negative impact on the emotional well-being of the family.

Karyna is a sweet girl who will celebrate her 14th birthday next month. Unfortunately, due to the family’s current financial circumstances, Ms. Gonzalez is worried she may not be able to celebrate her daughter’s birthday this year.

I ask that you please assist the family with any of their basic needs. This is a family that would be grateful with any assistance your organization may provide. I thank you in advance for any financial assistance you may provide this family.


Evelyn Gonzalez, MSW

Pediatric Social Worker

Plea from Mother, 08/24/11:

My name is Maria Gonzalez and I am the mother of a beautiful 13 y/o named Karyna. My daughter was diagnosed with ALL Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on April 6, 2011. Since this day my whole world has crumble. I have not been able to work to take care of my daughter and take her to the hospital on a weekly basis for her treatment as well remain at her bedside when shes admitted, which has been quite a few times. We are currently admitted at MCH for a heavy dose of chemo for 4 days.

At this moment I’m undergoing financial hardship, I’m late on my rent again, have not been able to pay my phone nor my water and barely have gas money. My oldest daughter has started her senior year and I was not able to buy her any school clothes or supplies for school, being a teenager she does not understand. My daughters are my world, their father is currently incarcerated and has not been involved in their life for the past seven years. Karynas birthday is coming up September 24 and I can’t even ask her for a laptop nor take her to her favorite restaurant Olive Garden. It hurts me a lot.

II always tried to provide for my children the best I could, but I’ve been hit with this terrible disease, and I want to be able to breathe a little and don’t go to bed every night thinking what’s going to become of me if I’m unable to be there for my kids. This is why I ask for additional assistance.

God Bless, Maria Gonzalez

Testimonial from Parent, 04/8/12:

Hello my name is Maria Gonzalez and I am the proud mother of Karyna Diaz (13 y/o) fighting Leukemia (ALL). As of today’s date it has been a year since my beautiful daughter got diagnosed. She is still undergoing chemotherapy and still has a full year and half to go. She is doing great, has her ups and downs but that is due to all the medication that she’s taking. As the sole keeper of this family, I have encounter financial hardship once more, I’m desperately looking for a job, but have not been successful, have applied at various places but no call backs. I’m to the point where my light is disconnected and so is my water, I’m behind on my rent 2 months and can barely make ends meet can even go anywhere because I can afford gas money. This has really taken a toll on me I have become very depressed and my nerves are chattered. Everything has become so difficult, all I want is to be able to keep a roof over my children.

The Jessica June Foundation helped me out last year with rent, groceries and even with my cell phone, eternally grateful. My daughter was also sponsor by a company, Nature’s Products, and was able to have a beautiful Christmas.  I am in desperate need for help with my rent and my utility bills I don’t want to loose the only place my children call home, once more I put my heart and soul out there.

I would like to thank Sandra Muvdi founder of the JJCCF and Valerie Alzamendi for all there support and let them know that they are doing a wonderful job helping families like mines and others with this terrible illness, along with all the supporters.

Kindly, Maria Gonzalez- mother

Karyna with mother at Miami Children’s Hospital