Simon, 15-year-old – Golisano Children’s Hospital & Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Simon was a gregarious teen living with his single mother and 3 younger siblings in a mobile home in Bonita Springs, FL until he was diagnosed with Leukemia in September 2020. His father was deported to Mexico and his mother is the sole provider picking crops in a farm. Soon after diagnosis, the humble family of (5) was not able to afford bare necessities since the single mother had to care fulltime for Simon’s medical needs. After receiving Simon’s referral from Golisano Children’s Hospital in Ft. Myers, we immediately assisted his family with food and gas gift cards. Sadly, Simon relapsed, and his survival depended on a bone marrow transplant at All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete, FL.
His mother was able to gather enough money to buy a vehicle to transport her son to the new hospital 140 miles away from home. While Simon was hospitalized after the transplant, everyone had to evacuate since the forecasts predicted Hurricane Ian would be directly hitting the hospital. Seeking safety, Simon and his mother drove their car South where they found a hotel room. The hurricane hit their ground floor room directly and they remained 9 hours with most of their bodies submerged in water in the dark until they were rescued. Unfortunately, the family car and all their personal belongings were flooded and a total loss. After narrowly surviving, Simon contracted a virus which is being monitored at the hospital.
Simon’s siblings evacuated their mobile home and remained a few weeks in a shelter. Thanks to our Kids Cancer Relief Drive -Hurricane Ian Aftermath donors, Simon’s family received emergency assistance. During a time of loss and despair, we provided 3 loaded credit cards (each $500) restricted for food, transportation, lodging, and hardware purchases to help stabilize the entire family.
Although the family’s road to recovery is lengthy, we will continue supporting the family through our Advocacy Program (last resort program). We hope Simon will be released from the hospital to a safe home environment while he is immunocompromised and that his family can once again own a car. Simon’s mother deserves a break after enduring spousal abuse, the kidnapping and tragic death of her daughter and her current hardships.
Simon needs new clothing and a new bed after losing his personal belongings during the Hurricane. He is immunocompromised and should not sleep on an old mattress which was flooded by the hurricane. Family also needs food and transportation to get Simon to his post-transplant hospital checkups.