We’ve been doing a lot this year!  Once again, we supported Riley Christmas Assistance by providing Christmas for two families struggling with pediatric cancer.  We’ve provided gas and grocery gift cards to the social workers in the Riley Hematology/Oncology Department to use for families that need help.  We’ve supported individual families with assistance with bills and other financial items they might need help with.

Here are the types of families we help year-round:

🎗a 15-year-old whose mom was kept in treatment for a mental condition while dad pays everything on his own, 2 months behind on rent (teratoma of the ovaries)
🎗a four-year-old awaiting stem cell transplant and the family is behind on car and mobile…sounds wild, but mobile is so important when you are traveling for treatment (neuroblastoma)
🎗a seven-year-old traveling 2 hours away for treatment, one parent unable to work (medulloblastoma)
🎗a ten-year-old traveling 3 hours for treatment and the family is having trouble maintaining work schedules and keeping up with bills and travel for treatment (osteosarcoma)
🎗a ten-year-old whose parents are having trouble keeping up (relapsed B-ALL)

The greatest news is that Joey gets to move on to Survivor’s Clinic!  He will have finished his treatment 4 years ago this August!  They don’t officially declare him “cancer free” until he’s 5 years out, but moving on to Survivor’s Clinic is a big deal!  This is where he’ll no longer go through so many scans and testing and instead, he will learn about his treatment, the chemicals and medicines used, and what he needs to look out for as far as long-term effects…for the rest of his life.  One of his medicines causes him to be more sensitive to anesthesia and that is something important for him and those around him to know!

Just because we are out of treatment, we still have a lot to pay attention to!

Joey is finishing his 8th-grade year and ready to head on to high school!  We are happy to say that he’s a typical teenager in every crabby eye-rolling way!

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