Dear Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation.
This letter is being written on behalf of Salma and Mercedes. Salma is a 4- year-old being treated at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for a diagnosis of Medulloblastoma. Salma was diagnosed in January 2022 after presenting with frequent falls and ataxia. Since her diagnosis, Salma has endured chemotherapy, tumor resection and 2 out of 3 stem cell transplants. Salma’s third transplant will be in the upcoming weeks.
Patient and family are originally from Venezuela, they traveled to the U.S. seeking asylum since their home country is undergoing hardship and distress. Patient traveled with her mother and older sister to the U.S. seeking a better future and opportunities for her daughters. Salma’s father resides in Venezuela and efforts for him to also join his family have been futile. Family does not have any other relatives or close friends in the U.S. to offer financial or emotional support. Family has endured extreme hardship throughout this time especially coping with patient’s diagnosis.
Patient’s admissions are very lengthy due to treatment protocol, admissions are about a month at a time. As a result of this, it becomes very difficult for her mother to seek or maintain employment since she’s the sole caregiver. The family is enduring financial hardship and mother is seeking assistance to cover the costs of housing. Salma’s father is not able to provide any financial support from their home country.
We kindly ask that you open your hearts to helping this very deserving family. Salma’s treatment is ongoing, and she and her family continue to fight. Any assistance will be so greatly appreciated by her family during this incredibly challenging time.
Yanara Del Valle, MSW
Pediatric Oncology Social Worker