Human Connexus Foundation supports individuals or families who reside in California by providing financial assistance to help those in need with basic living needs (i.e. rent, car payment, utilities, phone, etc). The hope is that within a short period of time, the recipient and/or family will be back to living a “normal life”.
Human Connexus Foundation is unique because of the direct impact we have on the recipients. The recipient receives funds to help them through a crisis that has caused financial hardship. The donor gets an opportunity to contribute their financial contribution directly to the cause that touches their heart.
Additionally, Human Connexus has the ability to reach out to a variety of people. We have helped infants, young children, teenagers and adults. Most of our recipients had a steady income prior to the unfortunate circumstance. After the incident or diagnosis, the individual’s income has been decreased or non-existent because they are focusing on recovery. They are not able to apply for federal/state assistance or assistance will take too long to receive. This puts the family/individual in a financial hardship. In most cases, the individual or family only needs a few months of assistance to keep them financially stable.
Human Connexus Foundation is proud of our accomplishments and the impact the organization has had on others. Below are the stories of the individuals we have assisted.
Ajani was born premature at 23 weeks and 3 days. When he arrived into this world, he only weighed 1 lb. 3 ounces. At the time, Ajani lungs were not fully developed and he was having major complications due to lack of oxygen. The doctor’s prognosis was not positive and the family were preparing for a short life for their little boy. However, Ajani is strong and fought hard to keep going. The spirit of his two sisters helped him in his journey. He has now been at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital for one year. The family moved from Stockton, CA to Palo Alto to be near Ajani and give him all the love they can. Ajani’s father was able to find a job at FedEx but finding housing near the hospital has been extremely difficulty on a limited income. In the next month, Ajani will be moved to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland where he will continue to receive medical treatments. The family finally found affordable housing in the Oakland area and Ajani’s father was able to transfer to the same area so he can be near his family. Financially, the family has lost all their assets. In the past year, they have lost their home, their car broke down, all of their savings as been depleted and any money set aside has been used to support this transition. Human Connexus Foundation is providing monthly housing assistance to the family as they transition to Oakland. Additionally, HCF provided funds to get their car repaired so transportation is not an issue.
The Rios family has been diagnosed with LQTS, a serious arrhythmia condition that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. These rapid heartbeats might trigger a sudden fainting spell or seizure. In some cases, the heart can beat erratically for so long that it causes sudden death. For the Rios family, they discovered that the father carries a genetic mutation that has been passed down to all three kids in the family. Their LQTS has been categorized as Type 8, Timothy syndrome which causes other congenital heart diseases,autism, immune deficiency and complex syndactyly. Their 9 year old son was diagnosed first, then 2 year old daughter and then their father.
In May, their youngest daughter had her first attack and fainted in the living room. Doctors noticed that the right side of her heart is very thin and has a lot of white scars. This is the first time doctors have seen this severe of a condition on a young child. Recently, the father received heart surgery at Stanford Hospital because his heartbeat was so erratic and his medication was not able to control it. He spent a few weeks in the hospital and during this time, he lost his job. The children all receive medical treatments from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Mom would like to be able to coordinate all the appointments but the medical system just does not work that way. In 2015, the Rios Family purchased their first home. They were extremely lucky to buy a bank owned home and had plans to complete a remodel. Now, they just hope that they are able to get financial assistance so they don’t lose the home. Human Connexus is helping in providing monthly rental assistance to the Rios Family.
Have you ever heard of CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome? CRPS is a chronic pain condition that damages the peripheral and central nervous system. CRPS is caused by an injury or trauma that occurs in parts of the body.
Weston just graduated from 8th grade and is looking forward to enjoying high school. He has been battle juvenile arthritis for many years. A few years ago, Weston started to feel intense pain that he has never felt before. Doctors diagnosed Weston with CRPS. Weston has gone through extensive rehabilitation therapy, psychotherapy to deal with post traumatic stress, and numerous medications. Weston is a fighter but after years of pain, his body started to give out and Weston now needs assistance to walk through crutches or use of a wheel chair.
Despite all the pain and suffer, Weston continued to attend school. He was able to complete five 8th grade classes by either attending in-class or through a self- study program. Weston excelled at Advance Math which is a huge accomplishment considering how much class time he missed because of doctor appointments. Weston did not allow his disability nor the pain to stop him from attending his 8th grade graduation. He wheeled himself out onto the football field, used his crutches to walk up to the principal who handed him his diploma. Tears were in everyone’s eyes.
Not only has the family had to watch Weston suffer through the excruciating pain while his body loses its ability to function, Weston’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. She is going through chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the hospital located near her home in Modesto, CA. While the family tries to relocate her to the Bay Area, Weston’s father spends half his time as his mother’s care-giver. He is a self-employed architecture who has lost considerable amount of income taking care of his family. Weston’s mom reduced her work hours to part-time so she can take Weston to his treatments. Human Connexus is supporting the family through rent assistance and help with relocating Weston’s grandmother to the Bay Area so the family can be together.
This has been a devastating year for the family. Just recently, Joshua’s mother was diagnosed with a relapse of brain cancer. She is currently undergoing radiation treatments. Given the critical nature of her own condition, Joshua’s mother has not been able to care for Joshua as she did before. Joshua’s father had to take significantly more time off from work in order to support his family during this critical time of need. Not only has the family been under incredible emotional stress but they are experiencing significant financial has the family been under incredible emotional stress but they are experiencing significant financial hardship due to loss of income. Even though the family has been through a lot, they are an extremely proud family with a very strong bond.
Their goals are to make it through the medical crises at hand and to manage their own family’s daily cost of living. Human Connexus Foundation is supporting the family with rental assistance. Please shine some light for Joshua, his mother and the rest of the family by making a donation so that their goals are achieved soon.
In October of 2014, Xavier was diagnosed with a rare genetic immune deficiency. At that time, Xavier’s family were considered a moderate income family with both parents employed in jobs they loved and were busy raising three children; Mya 11, Higinio 8, and Xavier 2.
Xavier was born early and after months of struggling with small reactions to immunizations, he had a very rare reaction to the chicken pox vaccine. At that time, he was 13 months old. He fought the virus for 2 months and at his 15 month check up, his parents decided to give him one more shot but again he had a reaction. It was then that his parents knew something was wrong. After some blood work, Xavier was sent to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco to be seen by an oncologist. That day Xavier’s family lives changed. 3 weeks later, an Immunology team at UCSF saw Xavier and by December, Xavier was undergoing a bone marrow biopsy.
On December 1, Xavier went into the hospital for a stem cell transplant in which his brother is his donor. His brother, Higinio, was hooked up to a stem cell harvest machine that separates the stem cells from the blood; a very painful process. The stem cells were then placed into Xavier. Xavier needs to remain in isolation for 4 months to determine if his little body will accept the cells.
Within the last year, the family has gone through many changes. Xavier’s mom left her job to care for Xavier full-time since he is now unable to be around other children, play at playgrounds or be in enclosed rooms where he is exposed to other children and adults that may be ill. His family moved out of their house and into a shared rental with Grandma to assist with taking care of Xavier. For the next 4 months, Xavier and his mother will live at UCSF to ensure Xavier is not exposed to any viruses. Due to this isolation, the family will be separated during the holidays. The family as exhausted all of their resources for assistance and pray that in 4 months, Xavier will be home with the family and life will move forward.
Carter moved back home with his mother because he needed full-time medical care. His mother is very familiar with the daily appointments of chemotherapy and radiation because she too has cancer and has been dealing with the similiar medical treatments. In fact Carter’s mother, Cherie, was a recipient at Human Connexus Foundation in 2013-14. Now, the two of them are balancing their schedules to make sure they are getting the needed medical care. Both Carter and Cherie are not working due to the multiple appointments throughout the week. Both receive monthly disability but working due to the multiple appointments throughout the week. Both receive monthly disability but that is not enough to cover their basic living needs. Carter is also fighting the hospital and his insurance company regarding a medical bill that is over $600K that is in dispute. An area where he does not want to spend his energy.
Carter is hoping to return to UCSC to finish his bachelor’s degree by next year. He wants to get his college life back and help his family get back on the path to financial stability.
This has not been easy because his personal challenges with Osteosarcoma. Alex was diagnosed in March 2012 at just 15 years old. His cancer is terminal. He has had over 22 surgeries on his leg, lungs and mid-section. He suffered through numerous rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, but the cancer continues to return. In November of last year, he was given two weeks to live with a terminal diagnosis; yet he is still here today.
Alex desperately wants to live. Yet during his battle, he has inspired a community with his recycling and trash cleanup projects in order to “save the planet”. His mom is a single parent since Alex was one-year-old. She continues to hold a job at a dentist office but rarely gets an opportunity to work because she is taking care of Alex. She feels so blessed that the dentist is so compassionate and has not terminated her. However, mortgage payments and bills are high in the bay area, and Alex constantly worries about how his mom will keep up; both now and when he is gone. Alex hopes that some assistance will help alleviate some of the burden on his mom so they can spend time together chasing rainbows and dreams in the time he has left.
In May 2015, Jesse was admitted to the hospital with a virus, which was difficult to cure because Jesse’s immune system is compromised. He received IV medications twice daily but the virus stayed in his system for 2 1/2 weeks. Then in June, he contracted another virus that took multiple medications to eliminate the virus from his system. This time his hospital stay extended over 2 months. Jesse’s mom receives In-Home Support Services, which is financial assistance program funded by the State of California Social Services to pay for full-time care for a disabled individual rather than relying on out-of-home care where nurses come to your home. While Jesse was in the hospital, the In-Home Support Services does not pay Jesse’s moo she did not receive any financial support for the past over 8 weeks. During this time, she was using her car extensively to travel back and forth from UCSF hospital to her home in Oakland. Her car needed some repairs to make the daily trips. The unexpected elimination of 2 months of pay and the car repairs caused the family to fall short on paying for their monthly basic living needs. Human Connexus Foundations is helping the family pay for their rent for the next few months so they can catch up on their bills.
When Alejandro was in 4th grade, he was attending school but his behavior became disrupted in the classroom. He had difficulty concentrating, mood changes become more frequent and he was confused; common issues from a child with high levels of ammonia in the brain. Since it takes so long for the levels to dissipate, the school recommended that Alejandro be home schooled where a tutor comes to the house every day to help him with his studies. He has been home schooled ever since. He misses his friends dearly and is hoping to return soon. Alejandro’s mother is an Accounting Manager at a family owned IT small company. The company owners understand Alejandro’s medical situation but since she is an hourly employee, every time Alejandro has a doctor appointment, she needs to take time off work. This has caused a burden on their financial situation.
In May 2014, the doctors started to give up hope on Zachary since the medical team was not able to isolate the cause of the seizures and the medications were not working. Zachary’s father saw a Discovery Channel Special on CBD oil (a cannabis extract) that had helped other pediatric patients with seizures. Right around that time, Zachary’s just experienced a Grand Mal seizure where Zachary lost consciousness and had violent muscle contractions. He was rushed to the ER and the Neurologist informed them that this was going to become a normal occurrence. Zachary’s parents were very skeptical of using cannabis to help their son plus it is very expensive but they had no other option. With the help of their Pediatric Neurologist, they started Zachary on a CBD oil treatment. Progress was slow but finally on Oct 10th, Zachary had NO SEIZURES. Zachary went for 54 days without a seizure. Occasionally, he will have a seizure now but they are not as violent as before. Zachary continues to show improvement in his brain waves, motor skills and development skills. The parents have been pulled and stretched in so many directions; emotionally, financially and spiritually. They can look back and appreciate the little victories, the milestones and are looking to the future with excitement.
At 3-years old, Jasmine kidneys stopped working. Since then, Jasmine has received dialysis treatments three times weekly. She has been on the kidney transplant waitlist for the past 850 days. She periodically has macrocytic anemia (enlarged red blood cells) and thrombocytopenia (decrease levels of platelets) requiring blood transfusions. Jasmine also receives physical therapy twice weekly. Jasmine and her mother are seen at Lucile Packard Hospital every day of the week.
Jasmine lives in a very small two-bedroom apartment with her mother and 3 siblings. Her mother used to work as an auditor at a local hotel. Jasmine’s mother quit her job and receives In-House Assistance Funds since she is Jasmine’s full-time caretaker. However, these funds are not enough funds to cover all the expenses in the household. For the past year, Jasmine’s siblings have not been to a movie, out to eat (even fast food) or enjoyed any activity that costs extra money. These items are just NOT in the budget. They struggle each month to keep up but her mother always finds ways to make ends meet.
In the meantime, she had no source of income. She was delinquent by several months on her rent and other bills. Her landlord was threatening to evict her and her kids from the apartment that they have been living in for the past 5 years. She started to forgo purchasing groceries so she could contribute a little bit each month to her landlord. In September of 2014, Allison found a temporary position. She is still behind on her rent but is trying to pay it off. Because her position is only temporary, she does not qualify for medical insurance through the company. Medical payments for her and her kids is estimated to be $900 per month according to the Affordable Care Act Plan; money that she currently doesn’t have. Allison is praying that her position will convert to full-time status so she will get an increase in pay but more importantly, have affordable health care benefits. In the meantime, Human Connexus is helping Allison with her rent to ensure she is not left homeless while she gets through this rough patch in her life.
Robin is a single mom who just saw her only son graduate from high school and gets accepted to a college on the east coast. In the past few years, life has not been easy for Robin. In late 2010, Robin was laid off from her job as an Office Manager. She found several temporary positions that helped pay monthly expenses but she was not able to secure a full-time job. In early 2013, Robin needed back surgery to fix the curvature of her spine. She has been living in agony for the past few years. Pain medications, injections and physical therapy were not giving her any relief. The back surgery was a success but the healing process took longer than expected.
Then in July of 2014, Robin went in for a routine mammogram where a lump was found in her right breast. She was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) breast cancer. DCIS is a non-invasive cancer because it hasn’t spread beyond the milk duct into any normal surrounding breast tissue. DCIS isn’t life-threatening, but having DCIS can increase the risk of developing an invasive breast cancer later on. Doctors recommended that Robin have surgery to remove the cancerous tissues and weekly radiation treatments for the next 12 weeks.
Robin is hoping that she can soon return to full-time work. She just needs assistance until she completes her radiation treatment. In the meantime, to earn some income she has been helping people in her community organize their offices and is assisting a family with after school care and activities.
Jeb was a Bay Area native and loved many things in his life. He loved music, was an enthusiastic birder, a great cook, and a seasoned gardener. He also loved the great outdoors and his many friends, but his life’s passion was parenting his two children. He invested much time and energy to ensure that these two darlings would be able to grow up and thrive in a difficult world.
On October 11, 2011, Jeb’s ex-wife Krista (HCF recipient) passed away from a grim battle with cancer. This was a difficult time, but Jeb enthusiastically took on the full-time role of parenting their two teenage children. He moved to Los Gatos so that the teenagers could stay in the same house and attend the same school. It was his goal to make their lives as comfortable as possible while all of them learned to live without Krista.
Very sadly, Jeb passed away suddenly on July 24, a shock for very many, but especially for his children who are now facing the world without parents. Fortunately, Jeb was a forward thinker and arranged for his children to have guardians who are now caring for his teenagers and helping them plan for their own future.
Jeb did not get the chance to watch his children go out and conquer their world, but he knew in his heart that they have the strength, fortitude and abilities to do just that. Through his children, his spirit will live on.
Alisha is 5 years old and was born with Sickle Cell Anemia (SCD). SCD is a serious disorder in which the body makes crescent shaped red blood cells rather than disc-shaped. “Sickled” shaped cells tend to block blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs. Blocked blood flow can cause severe pain and organ damage. It can also raise the risk for infection. Alisha was born in Texas and when she was 3 years old, her single father moved her and his other 2 daughters to California so that Alisha could get the proper care from Children Hospital of Oakland. On September 26, Alisha received a bone marrow transplant. Alisha has such a spunky personality and is a fighter that her blood count has increased enough where she is going home only after 5 weeks of being hospitalized. Doctors had planned on her staying in the isolation unit for 12 weeks and then living in a Bone Marrow Transplant Home for another 4 weeks.
Alisha’s father was trained to be her in-house living nurse and will take care of her full-time. Alisha requires 15 medication per day through a line and needs to have her blood drawn 2 times per day. To ensure Alisha gets nutrients and calories, she will use a TPN (total parenteral), which means she will use an IV to eat. Even though this is a serious responsibility, her father is happy to be the one to help his little angel. Alisha’s father has not worked for the past year because of Alisha’s health and won’t be able to look for employment until Alisha is stable. Even though he has lost all his personal belongings and barely has enough food each day to eat, he is so optimistic. He has faith that his daughter will get better and will live a healthy life. His positive thoughts and attitude have contributed to her recovery. Alisha tells her dad, “I am smiling because you are smiling.” Human Connexus Foundation is helping Alisha by making their monthly rent payments. We hope that you are able to shine some light on their living situation by making a donation to Human Connexus Foundation.
On January 10, Princess heard her baby cry for the first time. It was 6:02am when Cheyenne was brought into this world and everyone in the family was there to experience the new arrival. Cheyenne was born pre-mature but at the time of birth, nothing appeared to be abnormal. Since Cheyenne was born early, she stayed in the nursery most of the time. Princess visited her every hour so that she could just hold the little miracle. Within a few days, Cheyenne stopped taking feedings. She started to lose weight and her heart rate began to increase. Cardiologist soon visited Cheyenne and told Princess that her baby girl needed open-heart surgery to close holes that were in her heart. Further, doctors noticed Cheyenne was not responding to sound like other babies. It was determined that additional surgeries were needed to fix her hearing issues.
After a month of tests and medical evaluations, Princess was sent home with her new baby girl with the purpose of getting Cheyenne to gain weight before surgery could be performed. Princess is very family oriented and is thankful to her family and friends for all the support. She then moved in with her 2 brothers into a three-bedroom apartment so that she could be surrounded by loved ones. She quit her job at LaBelle Day Spa knowing that the most important thing is to be with her daughter during these fragile times. Within the next year, Cheyenne will have a several surgeries. She is strong like her mother and handling the medical procedures well. Cheyenne continues to require a feeding tube to ensure her body is nourished properly. She started physical therapy and will need some help in normal baby milestones – crawling, walking, talking and grasping.
Human Connexus Foundation is helping Princess by making her monthly car payments and paying her mobile service. Cheyenne has several weekly appointments at Children Hospital in Oakland and continues to be evaluated by the doctors. She has a few surgeries scheduled within the next 3 months. Please help Princess and Cheyenne by sending some love and support their way in hopes to a smooth road to recovery.
Jennifer is an active, fun loving, teenager. One day, Jennifer was experiencing some pain in her back and weakness in her muscles. Most people would think this was part of growing older. The pain and weakness continued for a few weeks. On December 24, 2013, Jennifer’s whole life took a tragic
change. She was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (TM), a neurological disorder that causes inflammation to the spinal cord. Transverse Myelitis weakens the nervous system that controls involuntary activity, such as the heart, breathing, the digestive system, and reflexes. Approximately 1,400 people per year will be diagnosed with TM with varying degrees of impairment. Jennifer’s case is extreme. She is now paralyzed from the neck down and depends on a ventilator to breathe. There is no effective cure for Transvers Myelitis and the physical damages can not be reversed. Jennifer will be in long-term rehabilitative therapy and will require 24/7 care from family members and professional care givers.
Jennifer’s mom was forced to leave her job to give Jennifer the needed care. The family moved to a home that was equipped to handle a wheel chair. Jennifer’s father passed away when she was only 8 years old leaving her mother to take care of Jennifer and her little sister. Jennifer’s mom is hard working but she needs to find suitable care for Jennifer before returning to work. In June, Jennifer will be back in the hospital so that the doctors can repair her left lungs to improve her breathing. Human Connexus Foundation is helping the family get established in their new residence. Please help Jennifer, her mother and little sister move forward in adjusting to this new life. The road ahead is filled with challenges.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Haylie is a fabulous little girl and a complete tomboy. She is also a twin with a sister who is just as fun. Haylie loves to climb trees, play softball, bike hills, do backflips into the pool and will take on whatever challenge is given to her. You name it, she will try it.
In June 2013, she was climbing a tree, fell and hurt her knee. Her mother attended to it just like any other injury she has had in the past – with love and kindness. Haylie was back playing within a few hours ready to take on the world. By mid June, Haylie was still uncomfortable so her mother took her in for X-rays. Nothing appeared to be wrong. By mid July, the pain didn’t subside so her mother took her back and the doctor agreed to an MRI. The MRI showed that Haylie had a mass. A WHAT was her mother’s response. On July 26, Hailey had a biopsy and on July 28, her mother received the call that changed their lives forever.
Haylie has osteosarcoma in her right femur. On August 5, she started chemotherapy treatments for the cancer. By Oct 24, Haylie had to have 7″ of her femur removed and a full knee replacement. After that, Haylie had to undergo another 20 more weeks of chemotherapy. Her mother and sisters were ready to help Haylie push through these grueling treatments by staying positive and trying to live a “normal life.” Haylie started to adjust to being in a wheelchair and using a walker. Her sisters love to play doctor with her. The doctors and nurses were kind enough to give them “real” tools and uniforms to use for play.
In December, Haylie had routine MRI and CT scans. Haylie’s mother was shocked at the results. Even after all of the treatments, the cancer had spread to Haylie’s ankle and her lungs. WAIT, WHAT? Her mother could not believe what was happening. Her little girl’s body was filling up with cancer. Since then, doctors have found tumors on her foot, ribs, and on the upper part of the femur. The family has spoken to St. Jude’s, UCSF, Stanford, and NY Sloan Medical. They have tired trial drugs to stop the mutation but nothing has worked. Doctors are working together on Haylie’s healthcare but are starting to lose hope. They are looking at one more experimental treatment that only provides a 10% chance of helping. This treatment will start on May 19 at UCSF.
Haylie’s mother continues to work full-time since she a single mother and the medical insurance provider for her 3 beautiful daughters. It is just not an option for her to stop working. Haylie’s grandmother moved from the east coast to help out with her grandchildren. She has been a blessing to help Haylie during the day. Haylie has not been able to go to school due to the number of doctor appointments and treatments. A tutor visits the house daily to make sure she is getting her education but there are days when she is just not strong enough to learn.
Haylie’s path is not done. She will keep fighting because she is the most loving, strong, little girl. Human Connexus Foundation is helping Haylie’s mother with rent assistance for the next 6 months. Please find a way to put a smile on this family’s face by making a contribution so we can give provide some relief while they go through these tough times.
Back in October, Rokus contracted E. Coli and was sent to Children Hospital and Research Center in Oakland. Rokus experienced severe complications with his treatments, which included dialysis, removal of part of his colon, having a colostomy bag and remaining on a respirator for about 2 months. Because the E. Coli did so much damage to this little guy’s body, Rokus had a few surgeries to remove damaged tissue. Rokus stayed at the Children Hospital in Oakland for 4 months. There were two incidences when Stephanie did not think her baby would make it through the night. She spent many hours holding his little hand, watching him breath and praying that he would recover. Stephanie quit her job as a therapist so she could be with by her son’s side. She did not have any family near the hospital so it was rare that she ever left his room. She would sing to him song, read books and play games. When he was not sedated, Stephanie tried to keep Rokus entertained so that he would not pull out any tubes or make it difficult for other patients at the hospital. A very difficult task for a fun loving toddler. As he was recovering, Rokus made many friends with the doctors and nurses who gave him such loving care.
In late February, Rokus went home and Stephanie gave birth to her third child. During the 4 months at the hospital, the family incurred significant amount of additional expenses with little-to-no income for the duration of 4 months. Stephanie quit her job to be with Rokus and during that time, her husband had to sell his engineering contracts to other companies for a loss. They incurred travel expenses, had to cover a substantial medical deductible and had some “non-covered” treatments they are anticipating to pay in the near future.
The most important goal for the family is to be together. After going through this emotional trauma, they are working on reducing their stress and managing their finances. They are hoping to keep their home, cars and live within their means. Human Connexus Foundation is helping the family get back on solid ground.
Coping with this illness is a lifelong journey. Cherie attends 2-3 hours per day in rehabilitation. Day to day activities are extremely difficult. For instance, she had to relearn how to walk, get up and down stairs, and in and out of chairs. A “day out” is usually only a few hours. This illness has really taken her life away. Cherie was able to go on long-term disability through her former company, Wells Fargo; however, it is not enough to help two sons through school and live in the Bay Area. Her children are struggling with the mental stress related to coping with her cancer and having a dad with an illness (Bi-Polar and Myotonic Dystrophy). Having one ill parent is difficult, her two boys have double.
Cherie’s goal for the next 6 months is to continue to do physical rehabilitation with the hope that she will get stronger and that some of the pain will ease up. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this type of cancer is chronic pain. Her personal goal is to keep her household as stable as possible for her young adult sons. All Cherie wants is to be a mom, provide for her children, have more mobility, less pain and to give back to those who have help her. The one thing she has realized, having gone through cancer treatment, is that it really does take a village to survive and she is forever grateful for those who have helped.
In August, Julianna was separated from her home, family, and friends to receive medical care at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Julianna is currently in preparation for a bone marrow transplant, which is her best chance at being cured. Luis, Julianna’s 12 year old brother, is the only transplant, which is her best chance at being cured. Luis, Julianna’s 12 year old brother, is the only person whose blood cells are a match to Julianna so he is donating his bone marrow to help save his sister’s life. The operations will take place on Dec 20th. Imagine, 2 of your children in the hospital under the care of physicians. Julianna will need to be quarantined at the hospital for 2 weeks and then live at the Ronald MacDonald House for 100 days in a protected area so she is not exposed to any virus. During that 100 days, the only people allowed to be with Julianna are her mother, doctors and nurses. Luis will return home right after his operation heals and wait for his sister’s recovery.
Christmas is very special for Julianna’s family. They usually have a large family get together where everyone makes tamales, hang pinata’s for the kids, exchange gifts through Secret Santa’s, sing, dance and tell funny stories that happened throughout the year. The celebration can last until 2:00AM. Unfortunately, Julianna and her mother will not be participating in these celebrations this year. They will be in the hospital. Her family will get a chance to visit but can only see Julianna through a glass quarantine window.
Prior to Julianna’s diagnosis, Julianna’s mother worked at a financial institution for 7 years as a Center Manager. Her company recently released her because her family leave expired. Julianna’s father continues to work at a golf course but has taken significant amount of time off so he can be present at the hospital. Julianna has 2 brothers: Luis, donating the bone marrow, is a very determined soccer player and Ivin, 10 years old, who is following in his brother’s footsteps.
Julianna and her family are blessed with incredible people —family, friends, and the social workers. However, their help is not enough to meet all their financial obligations. If you have the means to help this family. PLEASE HELP – every donation big or small can make a difference and is appreciated.
Haley was born a healthy 8 lbs, 3oz baby and everything seemed to be perfect. At 4 months old, Haley would not stop crying. Her eyes would get red and puffy. Nothing seemed to cheer her up. As time went by, Haley’s pupil started turning white. Her mother took her to many doctors and everyone had a different diagnosis but nothing was working to help this little baby. One doctor stated that Haley just had a lazy eye. As Haley’ mother continued to look for alternatives for her daughter, her eyes were getting worse. At the time, Haley’s family was living in San Diego. Her mother read about a hospital that had performed amazing eye surgery on kids. Both Haley and her mother took a bus to San Francisco where they rushed to UCSF for medical care.
Haley was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma – cancer of the eye. She had a port installed in her heart so the doctor could start chemotherapy treatments. After a few days, her eye started to hemorrhage. The hemorrhage caused the tiny veins in her eyes to pop. Unfortunately, Haley lost her right eye.
The focus for the doctor was to save the left eye. The doctors continued chemotherapy treatments. After 3 months, Haley’s vision started to get worse. She developed a high fever and was rushed to the hospital. The doctors found that Haley had developed an infection in the port located in her heart. The doctors opened up her chest, treated her with antibiotics and blood injections. She lay unconscious for 5 days and remained in the hospital for 32 days to fight the infection. By this time, the family moved to Santa Cruz to be closer to UCSF. After 12 doses of chemotherapy, 60 neoupagen shots to increase her platelets, 37 days of antibiotics for her port infection, 2 platelet transfusion, 2 blood transfusions, and 10 laser therapy sessions, the doctors saved her left eye and Haley returned home. She is strong and continuing to adjust to the loss of her right eye.
The battle has been long but they are survivors. Haley is 20 months old now and adjusting to living with one eye. Her mother and father are adjusting to their lives in Northern California too.
Currently, there are only 200 cases reported in the United States. Death may occur suddenly from an acute pulmonary hemorrhage or from chronic respiratory failure. Survival rate varies from 2 – 5 years but Bella is strong and has been beating the odds for the past 7 years. There are only 2 kids at Lucile Packard Hospital that have had this disease. The only treatment available at this time is IVIG (IV Immuno Globulin – filtered white blood cells)) which cost $35,000 per vial. This treatment takes 20 hours to administer. Additionally, Bella receives corticosteroids when she has a flare up.
Although the family is still very busy with numerous doctor’s appointments, the visits to the emergency room, hospitalizations, procedures and needle pricks have lessened. Because of this constant care, Annabella’s mother is only able to work part-time at a nearby school. During the summer months, she is not working because her services are not needed.
Just recently, the family experienced a double financial blow to their already tight budget. The engine blew on one of their vehicles and their other car needed a new transmission. They did not fix the first vehicle because it has too many miles and it would cost too much to repair but they did fix the second vehicle putting them back an additional $3,000. Because of this setback, they are behind in making their rent payments. Human Connexus Foundation is helping make rent payments for the next 6 months. Please send in your donation to help this family through this difficult time.
Despite Zechariah’s medical history, he has progressed tremendously and is a very happy baby. Developmentally Zechariah is socially, physically, and intellectually normal. His mother can truly say that he is a miracle baby. Zechariah is very independent – he brushes his own teeth and combs his own hair. Zechariah continues to make rapid developmental progress.
Zechariah’s mom is trying to get back to providing for her family after taking time off to care for the family. She is a single mother of 2 beautiful boys and double majored in Psychology and Sociology with 20 units in Human Development; which is only 12 units(3 classes) shy of triple majoring. She is hoping to find a job that would provide some flexibility so she can care for Zechariah and his brother. Human Connexus Foundation is helping Zechariah’s mother with her monthly expenses while she is in this transitional phase.
On December 7 2012, Erick received the news that only a handful of kids will experience. Erick was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma – a cancer usually detected in adults. By the time of diagnosis, tumors were starting to grow in different areas of Erick’s body. The biggest one was located on his lower spinal cord. Erick had the tumor removed and he went through 6 weeks of grueling chemotherapy. Because of the surgery, Erick suffers from lower back pain and needs to use a corset to assist him in walking. Two other tumors have been identified in his body but they are in vital areas where doctors are not sure surgery is an option. Since December, Erick has lost a little over 15 lbs. His family is filling him up with food because he needs to gain back the weight prior to starting any radiation treatments.
Erick’s parents are hard working adults. His mother cleans houses for a living but needed to hand over the business to her sister while she cares for Erick. They visit Lucile Packard Children’s hospital at least 3 times per week. Erick’s father is a carpenter working on a large job in Palo Alto. Luckily, he is able to go over to the hospital during his lunch break to be with his family and provide as much emotional support during the treatments. The family is doing everything possible to keep Erick healthy and keep themselves financially stable.
At the end of our visit, Erick shared that his soccer team dedicated their 3rd place trophy to him. He was not able to be there in person but in spirit they rallied to show how much they care. His smiled showed how much the team’s dedication meant to him.
Hi, my name is Moe and my husband of 32 years, Stu is suffering from end stage Frontal Temporal Degeneration (FTD). FTD is a neurological brain disease that attacks the frontal lobes of the brain and continues to cause atrophying throughout the brain. It is a fatal, progressive, degenerative brain disease that gradually destroys the ability to behave appropriately, empathize with others, learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and carry out daily activities. Little is known about the causes of FTD and there is no cure. The average life expectancy once someone is diagnosed is approx. 7 years and the clinical teams at both UCLA and UCSF believe Stu has been suffering from FTD for over 10 years. Stu had spent most of his life giving to others. He was a well-known and respected baseball coach and transitioned to a teaching golf 15 years ago. He has been an amazing husband and father to our two daughters Katy and Jessica. In the early stages of FTD, Stu was unable to hold a job. He lost almost all of his friends because of his unpredictable social skills and behaviors. Stu will now wander off in the neighborhood and enters people’s homes without permission. Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure yet for this insidious disease. Due to the excessive protein build up in his brain he is now experiencing seizures on a regular basis and chokes on most foods. The only thing I think he enjoys is watching TV and going to the putting green. FTD has robbed my husband of his basic personality and it’s questionable at times if he recognizes me as his wife and now seems confused by Katy and Jessica’s visits. Adding insult to injury, Stu has now been diagnosed with ALS, which about 20% of FTD patients eventually develop. So in addition to the loss basic bodily functions he is now experiencing significant muscle spasms and has difficulty breathing. As his primary care taker I’m afraid I will not be able to keep Stu at home to die. Due to the challenges we faced, I find myself in a dire financial dilemma. I promised Stu that I would do whatever I needed to do, to keep him home with the dogs and I. Having hospice now brings us all comfort that Stu will not suffer, however, I’m afraid I will not be able to pay the rent and the rest of our bills until he passes. I feel awful, because as his primary care taker I’m not working. Due to all the nuances of his diseases, if I went back to work, I would pay out, more than I would make, just to make sure he has the care he needs. Last year the LA Times ran an article on FTD, that featured the challenges and struggles we were experiencing as a family, and that was when Stu was still able to speak. Please read the attached article and watch the short video that was published and produced by the LA Times. http://framework.latimes.com/2012/02/13/dementia/
In the later half of 2012, Becky started to have severe pain in her hips and knees. She was diagnosed with osteonecrosis as a result of the steroids she was on to treat her HLH. The only treatment is total joint replacement which she had in December. She will not be able to work for approximately 2 months. In addition to this setback, she found out that the school signed up for a new insurance plan that increased the deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. She will not be able to cover over $2,000 in medical expenses.
Human Connexus Foundation is supporting Becky by helping with her medical expenses. We are praying that she will be cured of HLH and that she moves forward with her teaching career. She is hoping one day to be a mother to an adopted child and her husband wants to pursue a nursing degree so he can help others. Please help Becky realize her dreams.
Anne Baldwin Knudsen passed away on Mother’s Day, May 12, following a courageous battle with breast cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family and friends who will miss her deeply. She lived her life with energy, creativity, joy, humor and devotion to those she loved, especially her daughter, Courtney.
Back in October, Anne felt so sick she that she checked into El Camino Hospital only to discover that she has advanced-stage breast cancer that spread throughout her abdomen. In the blink of an eye her life has turned upside down.
Anne is a lifelong photographer (photographed many executives in Silicon Valley) and proud mother of an honors student at Homestead High School. A sudden end to her photography career and the realization that she and her daughter will have to find a way to live on $2000/month of disability has left her reeling. Keeping normalcy and routine in her daughter’s life while she finishes high school is paramount. The idea of moving out of their long-time Sunnyvale home, losing their pets, neighborhood and possibly school district are frightening to contemplate. Anne’s goal is to raise funds to pay the bills so that they can stay in their house while Anne closes her business and finds a person willing to purchase/rent back to them until Courtney graduates from high school. Anne will do her part to stay vital and be there as an active involved Mom for Courtney.
We are praying that she will fullfill her goal and live a full life while fighting cancer. Human Connexus is helping to Anne to keep her home. Please consider making a donation on behalf of Anne so she can continue to live in a comfortable setting for her and her daughter.
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. Blacklegged ticks are carriers of this bacteria because they feed on mice or deer that are infected with Lyme disease. Lyme disease can spread throughout the body causing several issues: memory disorder, nerve damage, migraines, vision and facial issues. Each person will experience different symptons. For Jude the neurological side effects are having the biggest impact. She has difficulty working due to severe migraines and has lost several jobs because she is unable to function some days. She also has quite extensive dental issues. The bacteria will creep underneath the gums and created massive gum recession and bone loss. Jude had 8 gum line cavities and several teeth pulled. She is working with Dr. Biles, Biocompatible Dentist, on a new protocol to help prevent any additional progression of the bacteria. She needed to have custom dental trays made which will be filled with medication which she will wear 4 times per day that will erradicate the bacteria and desolve the biofil that lyme hides. Human Connexus Foundation is financially supporting Jude by paying for this dental treatment with hopes in saving her teeth and her contributing to her good health.
Aliyah was born with an unexpected life-threatening heart condition. It was not known that she was unhealthy until she was born. Aliyah and her parents were rushed by air flight to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital and since then, Aliyah has had several surgeries to fix her little heart. Aliyah has only been able to come home one time which was during Christmas Holiday. After only spending 2 weeks at home, her little heart started to give out again so the family returned back to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. The family has been here for eleven months staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
Life has not been easy for Aliyah or her family. Dad needed to quit his job as a carpenter so he could care for Aliyah 24 hours a day. Aliyah’s mother is a full-time student and is taking care of Aliyah’s sister and brother. The family spends weekends together and try to sneak in a few nights during the week. During this time, bills have not stop coming in. Bill collectors contact them daily and they are struggling to keep their home. Together the family say their prayers every night that their little girl gets better and comes home soon. In the meantime, they are hoping to stay in their home and keep afloat. They want to be the family that can climb out a difficult situation and are grateful to have made life better with and for each other. The family appreciates any help that can be contributed.
His mother, Rose, was a full time working mom that thought everything would be fine after the first transplant, but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. In 2007, Rose quit her job to care for Eric. She gave up everything (home and personal belongings) and is only left with a mini-van that is also used as storage for their things. At this time, the mini-van is not drivable because of the poor condition of the brakes and tires. Human Connexus is working with Wheel Works in Redwood City to make sure Rose has a safe vehicle to drive. Please help us provide support for Eric and Rose.
I am a fifty-year old woman who is very happily married and a mother to a twenty-five year old daughter (presently in school finishing her bachelor’s degree in graphic communications.) I have worked as a fundraiser in the non-profit sector since 2000, most recently for an organization serving hungry and homeless children and their families as well as other adults. My husband has chronic health issues but is able to paint beautiful pictures which he sells to provide as much support as possible.
On February 14, I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The prognosis I was given was 1 year of life. I am currently receiving chemotherapy to prolong my life so I have more time with my family. I am unable to work. I am receiving State Disability Insurance, which barely covers rent, food and other basic expenses. My Cobra payments are presently $1,200 per month and due to go up in two months. State Disability will end in one year. I am making use of complimentary health care to support me during chemo, which I am not sure I could withstand without acupuncture and herbs, lymphatic massage, and medical yoga. My body does not tolerate chemo well; however, the chemo is stabilizing the tumors and the complimentary health care helps me to endure the hardship of chemo. Human Connexus Foundation is helping me pay for medical care to prolong life so I can spend time with family.
************************************************************************************** Just wanted to say hello again and thank you for your help and that of your organization last year. I am back to work successfully and thanks to your help I am not financially devastated. I won’t forget what you did to help me. It was a very difficult year. I am back on track. Jeanine
Between Social Security and Disability, Larry just covers his monthly living expenses. He picks up odd jobs here and there to help support the family. The past few months have been rough on Larry because his health has not been at its best. Larry Senior is asking Human Connexus to give him a small monthly boost so he can get ahead on some bills. When Larry is feeling well, he volunteers at the St. Vincent De Paul to show his gratitude to others who have given to him.
Daniel and Danielle Terborg
On November 24, 2010 Logan was born and all the tests showed he was a healthy baby. After having him home for a few weeks, his mother noticed some small abnormalities: constant cooing, weak cry, gas, but thought they were his “normal”. Logan went for his first month checkup and all was clear. By New Years, Logan’s abnormalities were still persisting but now he was having difficulties breathing. His parents immediately rushed him to Children’s Hospital of Oakland. After 1 month of tests, the doctors finally were able to determine the cause of Logan’s problems.
Logan has a genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress (S.M.A.R.D.). SMARD is a neuromuscular condition causing weakness of the muscles. Most patients show symptoms at the age of 1 to 6 months with respiratory failure and progressive muscle weakness with predominantly distal lower limb muscle involvement. Only 1 in 1,000,000 kids are diagnosed with SMARD. The doctors told Logan parents that they can could give him a tracheotomy or they could choose “comfort care”. His parents will not give up on their son and will do everything to give him a quality life. At this time, there is no cure for SMARDs.
Logan’s mom is currently on an extended leave of absence with no pay. She wants to spend time with her son while he is with us. They are in a horrible financial bind and would appreciate any help.
Cammy’s health issues are progressively declining and new medications are constantly being added. Besides being tethered to portable oxygen, she relies on an electric scooter, canes or crutches to get around. Her medications and medical costs associated with being severely chronically ill have made it difficult to stay afloat financially.
It is Cammy’s goal to live long enough to see her kid’s grow up to be adults. We hope she shoots past that goal and lives to an very old age. There is no cure and she fights her battle every day for her kids. Please consider helping Cammy. She is looking for funds to purchase adaptive equipment to help her mobility.
On April 19th, Amro’s 9-year-old brother died from complications of MPS. The family is devastated by the loss. They are trying to do everything possible so that Amro has a better chance of survival. Amro has many medical appointments a month and has weekly enzyme infusions. Amro has already had 27 medical appointments this year. The frequent medical appointments, as well as Amro’s fragility, has made it very difficult for his father to work. Amro’s father works part-time at the Head Start Education program as a janitor but during the summer, his work schedule is reduced significantly.
In 2006, Amro and his father emigrated from Palestine to participate in a clinical research study at Children’s Hospital Oakland. The study lasted for 3 years and during this time; Amro’s father became a US citizen. The rest of the family (mother and three kids) joined Amro and his father in the U.S. in 2009.
Since the death of their son, Amro’s family has fallen behind financially. The funeral expenses and loss in benefits were not expected. Amro’s father needs help to get through the summer months or until he is able to secure some additional pay.
The boys’ parents left their successful careers to be in California so their sons could get the proper treatments. Their home in Maryland foreclosed and they sold most of their possessions to pay for medical expenses. James still needs medical treatments to deal with growth problems and he needs to learn how to eat. He has been on a feeding tube since birth. Nicolas is waiting for surgery #2 and so far the heart tests are looking positive. The boys’ father is trying to pick up handy-man work to help pay for basic necessities. Human Connexus is sponsoring this family in hopes that they will be able to return home soon.
I am a single mother of a college student, age 23. I work at Holiday Inn Express through my entire breast cancer treatment, which included surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, I never knew I could take disability time off. I needed to take a significant amount of time off. During my treatments, my daughter dropped out of her studies so she could help pay our bills.
Since having breast cancer, I had to reassess my life and my priorities. I have always been a survivor, however facing a life threatening illness made me stop and look at myself closely. I was always there for others and not myself. Given all of these challenges, I am in debt due to medical costs. I do not qualify for financial assistance. I currently owe $3,000. I am applying for financial support in order to pay off my medical bills accrued during my treatments and to help my daughter get back in school.
Krista was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago. After a year of chemotherapy and radiation, Krista was able to live a life filled with passion and joy. She was a single mom of two beautiful children and was a successful entrepreneurial running a consulting business.
After 9 years of remission, Krista found a lump under her left arm. Her PET scan showed the cancer had spread to her spine, bones, lymph system, breast and under arm. Krista decided to take homeopathic treatments administered by Dr. Forsythe, who has seen breakthrough results with stage 4 cancers. Additionally, she took oral chemo.
Even though Krista had a lot of energy and spirit, she needed to take a break from her consulting business to deal with disease. Krista struggled financially to cover the cost of treatments, pay for basic living expenses and raise her family. Her kids are thriving in school as honor students and are handling their mother’s situation very well.
OTC deficiency is the most common of the urea-cycle disorders, occurring in one out of every 40,000 births. The genetic mutation responsible for OTC occurs on the X chromosome, so women are typically carriers, while their sons with the gene suffer the disease. The only solution for fixing the disease is a liver transplant ‚replace my dysfunctional liver with a healthy one. I am currently listed on the National Transplant Network and I am praying every day that one comes available.
Considering, I am a very lucky little boy. My parents love me very much. I have three siblings:Asa (8 years old), Belle (7 years old) and Caylee (6 years old).Unfortunately I am not allowed to live with them. You see, my family lives in Fresno, California and I am living with my mother at the Ronald MacDonald House in Palo Alto, California. I need to be close to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in case my ammonia levels get too high. My mom and I need to be within 30 minutes from the hospital. The distance between Fresno and Palo Alto is 150 miles‚ about 3 hours drive. My siblings are in school and my Dad is taking care of the family. My Mom quit her job so she can be with me full-time. Just recently, my Dad lost his job due to the State of California cutbacks. He is actively looking for a job but with the high unemployment rate, it has been difficult.
I know my situation it is not easy on my family. My parents are struggling to pay for the basic living expenses. They are falling behind on bills, wondering if they should buy food, pay medical or deal with the numerous bills. Additionally, there are extra costs because my Mom and I live so far away from the family.
My parents are good people and are the type to try to do things themselves. However, considering this situation, they are looking for a little help so they can get back on their feet. I know they would appreciate any assistance and will never forget the kindness.
Thank you so very much for your time.
I found out about Human Connexus Foundation through my church clergyman. I don’t like asking for help and usually try to handle things on my own. However my circumstances have become dire and I am growing weary of living in constant uncertainty. Our situation has become so worrisome that my 15-year-old son, quit the JV football team to get a job and help out financially. He has been so consumed with worry that he started failing his core classes and needed additional study time. After a few weeks, I convinced him to return to the football team and fulfill his commitment. The team accepted him back, but he had to stand on the sidelines most of the time because he had given up his spot. After the season was over he told them he would not be returning.
I was married in 1980, to my high school sweetheart, a person that I thought I would be married to forever. I devoted my life to being a wife and a mother. Throughout the last 15 years of our marriage, my husband was constantly threatening to leave, so with four small children at home, I went through the RN program at a local community college. After graduation, I worked as a RN off and on part time, but never enough to get a lot of experience in any particular area. Caring and being there for my family was always my first priority.
In the past few years, I have experienced some health problems. I had to undergo a hysterectomy in 2004 and then a partial thyroidectomy in 2006 for thyroid cancer. I also suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue condition, “fibromyalgia”. A few months after my 2006 surgery, we discovered that my, now 17 year old, daughter has Crohn’s disease. In July of 2007, after 27 years of marriage my husband walked away from our family. He left us in financial ruin. He left piles of unpaid bills and very little money. We had to move out of our home of 8 years and sell most of our belongings to make ends meet. A few months after settling into a new home, my 74-year-old father was almost killed in a car accident. He broke his neck. He and my mother needed a place to live, close to medical treatment. So in May of 2008, my children and I moved into another home with my parents. In July of 2008, I was advised by my medical doctor to have the rest of my thyroid taken out and to undergo radiation treatment. I had the surgery and in September I completed radiation treatment. All of the stress of the impending divorce, surgeries, and finances has greatly exacerbated my fibromyalgia.
Currently, I am working part time in a doctor’s office and I am not getting any ordered child or spousal support. Recently I have been applying for additional work but it has been difficult because I lack necessary clinical education and experience. Also, with my health conditions I need to be careful what type of position I accept. I know that with further education and certifications, I can get a job as an RN in an area that I can handle physically and still be able to be there for my family. If I were given the opportunity to receive help with living and educational expenses, it would enable me to further my education by taking a refresher course and get the additional certifications I need to get a good job. With a better job, I will be able to pay off our debts. My goal is to provide a good life for my children and be a good example to them. I don’t want to be a worry or a burden. I just need a little help getting over this bump in the road. I will never forget the help I receive and will pay it forward in whatever way I can. Thank you so very much for your consideration.
Sincerely, Sue Brinkerhoff
After high school, I would like to continue my education and attend a community college. It is my goal to get a degree in Social Work so I can help out other foster kids. My life has not been an easy one. I have been in so many foster care homes that I have lost track of the number. I was abused by one foster care family and have lived on streets of Oakland. For the past 2 years, I lived with my foster mother, who I call Auntie, and 5 other foster kids in Milpitas. My Auntie has been very supportive of my goals and has really help me in getting my diploma.
As of August 2009, I will need to leave my current home to start my life as an adult. The State will provide me with transitional housing. I would like to enroll in a community college full-time, which I hope to get grants to help with educational costs. I will need to get a part-time job so I can earn some income for expenses. I do not have driver’s license because I cannot afford a car. I rely strictly on public transportation to get around the city.
Human Connexus has opened up an educational fund in my name to help cover the cost of tuition, books and expenses. I really appreciate the support and know that I will be able to help out others once I graduate from college.
Update on Shontale:
She still wants to pursue her education but needs some time to determine her next steps.
Currently, I am working for one of my clients at the rate of $15.00 an hour. I was able to work during my treatment and had to take on a part-time retail job to help with expenses. Recently I had my mammogram and there was something showing in it and an MRI has been scheduled. Due to the fact that I had been at my job a short time and didn’t have a lot of PTO, I used credit cards for living expenses and for medications – one of my anti-nausea medications cost me $300.00 a month. However I have taken responsibility for this debt, closed out my credit cards and make payments of $420.25/month to a consumer credit counseling service. I also have some personal loans and am taking care of that myself. One of my brothers was able to help over the past few year but just recently he has been diagnosed with cancer. My other brother is also struggling due to the economy. I have some medical bills in collections. I was able to get into income restricted housing as my rent went up in February 2009 to $1100.00 and that’s what I make in my fulltime job. My rent at the income restricted housing is $861.00. As you can see, it is difficult for me to make ends meet.
I would like to get help with outstanding medical expenses, basic living expenses and prescription costs. One of my medications is $175.00 a month if I can’t get samples and I take other medications that cost me $30.00 a month. My insurance premiums have gone up so if I am hospitalized I would pay 40% of costs versus 20% and my co-pays are $40.00 per visit. Also, I am supposed to eat right (this is sometimes difficult with my income‚ I am still looking into food stamps) and exercise to prevent a recurrence of cancer. Sometimes my needs are as simple as having enough money for Vitamin D (helps to prevent recurrence) and vitamins. I have had difficulties buying gas, rent, food, paper goods, etc.
At this time, I still have my job although there have been layoffs this year. I would like to update my skills. My background is in office management, secretarial, clerical, administrative, reception, data entry, word processing and I hold an A.A. in Paralegal Studies from De Anza College. I would like to update my skills in Excel, Power Point, Quickbooks, and any other new software programs that would help me get a more stable job position.
I would appreciate any assistance you would be able to provide.
Thank you, Kim
For the past year, my husband has done a wonderful job in helping me through my surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. About 2 months ago, his employer, a non-profit organization, cut his hours to 32 hours per week. We have applied for state aid and food stamps but were denied. The bills are starting to pile up and we are afraid we may be evicted from our duplex of 11 years if we are not able to pay the full rent ($1,040/month). Additionally we are struggling to purchase groceries. My oncologist recommends a healthy diet but fresh vegetables and fruit costs money so I eat whatever we can afford. My husband and son are looking for additional employment but times are tough. I hope to return to work once I feel better.
Currently, I am volunteering a few hours a month at the Latinas Contra Cancer Center helping them organize the support groups and various activities. When I get better, I’m hoping to do more and also give back to the doctors, nurses and staff at the Valley Medical Center. Both of these organizations have been so wonderful to me and other cancer patients.
I would appreciate any help I can get. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and opening your heart to people in need.
Doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital diagnosed that I had Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. aHUS is an extremely rare disease characterized by hemolytic anemia, low platelet count and acute renal failure. There are two major concerns: 1) my mother needs to constantly monitor my blood pressure and 2) this diseases attacks my kidneys. To prevent my kidneys from failing I need to have plasmapheresis (a blood filtering process) three times per week. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Northern California that can conduct this procedure on a small child. My mother and I get up at 4am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday so can make the 4-hour drive to Palo Alto. The plasmaperesis can take between 3-5 hours to complete and then we drive back home so we can be with the family.
I am very lucky because my parents are extremely loving. Before I became ill, my mother was enrolled in a nursing program in Bakersfield but had to drop out to take care of me. She is able to communicate with the doctors and has developed a great relationship with the nurses. My father is in the construction business and has been providing for us for the past few months. It has been hard on him because of the frequent travels to Palo Alto.
Since my diagnosis, I have been rushed to the emergency room and admitted to the hospital several times. My parents need to monitor my diet and make sure my blood pressure stays level. The medical expenses, regularly scheduled trips and the additional costs have put a large financial burden on my family. Just the travel costs from Bakersfield to Palo Altos have added several hundred dollars to my parent’s monthly expenses.
Every day I pray for miracle that the doctors find a cure.